nounpl. -·mata or -·mas
a succession of different notes sung upon a single syllable, as orig. in plainsong or, now esp., in the ornamental phrases of Near Eastern and Asian music
Origin of melismaGr, song from melizein, to sing, modulate from melos, song: see melic
nounpl. me·lis·ma·ta, or me·lis·mas
A passage of multiple notes sung to one syllable of text, as in Gregorian chant.
Origin of melismaGreek melody from melizein to sing from melos song
(plural melismas or melismata)
From Ancient Greek Î¼ÎÎ»Î¹ÏƒÎ¼Î± (melisma, “song").