neume


neume
neumatic /nooh mat"ik, nyooh-/, neumic, adj.
/noohm, nyoohm/, n.
any of various symbols representing from one to four notes, used in the musical notation of the Middle Ages but now employed solely in the notation of Gregorian chant in the liturgical books of the Roman Catholic Church.
[1400-50; late ME < ML neuma < Gk pneûma breath]

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music
      in musical notation, a sign for one or a group of successive musical pitches, predecessor of modern musical notes (note). Neumes have been used in Christian (e.g., Gregorian, Byzantine) liturgical chant as well as in the earliest medieval polyphony (music in several voices, or parts) and some secular monophony (music consisting of a single melodic line). Early neumes developed from Greek textual accents that were gradually modified into shapes showing pitch direction and vocal ornament. These staffless, or chironomic, neumes facilitated recall of a memorized melody in accordance with the semi-oral musical practices of the time. Before long, neumes were “heighted” so as to suggest specific melodic lines. A musical staff of four lines evolved about the year 1000. Neumes placed on the staff showed exact pitch, allowing a singer to read an unfamiliar melody. Even within western Europe, differing systems of neumes were used in different geographical regions. By about 1200, neumes had assumed the characteristic square shapes still used in the modern notation of Gregorian chant. Whether and how neumes indicated rhythm remains a subject of controversy. Musical notes with time values evolved from neumes in the last half of the 13th century.

      A distinct system of neumes is employed for the notation of the Buddhist chant of India, Tibet, China, and Japan. It is perhaps a borrowing from the Nestorians of ancient Central Asia.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • neume — neume …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • neume — [ nøm ] n. m. et f. • XIVe; lat. médiév. neuma, altér. gr. pneuma « souffle, émission de voix » ♦ Hist. Mus. 1 ♦ N. m. Signe servant autrefois à la notation du plain chant (notation dite neumatiqueadj.). 2 ♦ N. f. Groupe de notes émises d un seul …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • neume — Neume, masc. penac. Mot particulier aux musiciens, est pur Grec, et signifie la desinence du chant tournoiant en la fin d iceluy, afin que la voix du chantre ne s arreste pas tout court et en sursaut, ains soit lentement et musicalement cessée… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • neume — or neum [no͞om, nyo͞om] n. [Fr < ML neuma, prob. ult. < Syriac ne mo, a sound, tone, song: altered in form and sense by assoc. with Gr neuma, a sign, pneuma, a breath] 1. any of various notational signs used in medieval church music, orig.… …   English World dictionary

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  • Neume — Chant grégorien Plain chant Neumes (1) Punctum Virga (2) Clivis Podatus (3) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Neume — St. Galler Neumen, geschrieben zwischen 922 und 926 n. Chr. Neumen (gr. νεύμα neuma „Wink“) werden graphische Zeichen, Figuren und Symbole genannt, die seit dem 9. Jahrhundert zur Notation der melodischen Gestalt und der intendierten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • neume — (neu m ) s. f. 1°   Terme de plain chant. Courte mélodie, qui est une sorte de récapitulation du mode dans lequel on vient de chanter, et qui se vocalise, sans paroles ou sur la dernière syllabe du dernier mot, à la fin des antiennes. Dans les… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • neumé — (neu mé) adj. m. Terme de musique. Noté en neumes, en parlant d un manuscrit. Antiphonaire, missel, graduel neumé.    On trouve même quelques exemples du verbe neumer …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • neume — [nju:m] (also neum) noun Music (in plainsong) a note or group of notes to be sung to a single syllable. Origin ME: from OFr. neume, from med. L. neu(p)ma, from Gk pneuma breath …   English new terms dictionary

  • neume — n. (also neum) Mus. a sign in plainsong indicating a note or group of notes to be sung to a syllable. Etymology: ME f. OF neume f. med.L neu(p)ma f. Gk pneuma breath …   Useful english dictionary


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