noun, plural melismas, melismata [mi-liz-muh-tuh] . Music.
an ornamental phrase of several notes sung to one syllable of text, as in plainsong or blues singing.

1605–15; < Greek mélisma song, tune. See melody, -ism

melismatic [mel-iz-mat-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
melisma (mɪˈlɪzmə)
n , pl -mata, -mas
music an expressive vocal phrase or passage consisting of several notes sung to one syllable
[C19: from Greek: melody]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1880, from Gk. melisma "song, air, melody." Related: Melismatic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's all about melisma, volume, pitch and the duration of notes.
Related Words
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