- any of various notational signs used in medieval church music, originally put above words to be sung so as to show approximate pitch, melody line, etc.
- in Gregorian chant, a specific musical note, often sustained, or a group of such notes
Origin of neumeFrench ; from Medieval Latin neuma, probably ultimately ; from Syriac ne'mo, a sound, tone, song: altered in form and sense by associated, association with Classical Greek neuma, a sign, pneuma, a breath
A sign used in the notation of plainsong during the Middle Ages, surviving today in transcriptions of Gregorian chants.
Origin of neumeMiddle English, series of notes sung on one syllable, from Medieval Latin pneuma, from Greek, breath; see pneuma.