pl. -·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").