Word of the Day

Monday, August 01, 2011

melismatic

\mi-liz-MA-tik\ , adjective;
1.
Characterized by the singing of several notes to one syllable of text, for emotional impact, as in blues and other musical styles.
Quotes:
His blues are pure Texas and in an older style with thumping bass notes in the guitar playing and breathy melismatic singing.
-- American Folklore Society, Journal of American Folklore
It almost sounds as if he's making it up as he goes, ending each verse with a melismatic flourish.
-- Camille DeAngelis, Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger
Origin:
Melismatic finds its source in the Greek melisma, "music."
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