Dear Friends, especially Choral and Church composers,
This is not a Dorico question per se, rather a question of definition that I call out to the learned Dorico World for advice.
I am in dispute with members of the Music Department where I work as to how many notes actually constitutes melisma. We have a year group doing a composition assignment on plainsong of the Middle Ages where they have to correctly use stylistic features of Gregorian chant in their composition.
Some are saying that two, three or four pitches on a syllable qualify as melisma. The Oxford Companion to Music states “in which one syllable flowers out into a passage of several notes.”
Is this right? I am having a bit of trouble accepting it, thinking that melismas should contain more extended passages on the syllable.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.