Most melismatic chant?
  • Geremia
    Posts: 224
    What are some of the most melismatic chant—i.e., the highest number of notes per syllable?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    It seems to quite often be in an Alleluia.
    There are 52 neums in the "glo-" of Gloria in Alleluia: Paratum cor meum (22post pentecost).
    There are 69 in the "-stro" of nostro in Alleluia: Venite, exsultemus Domino (14 PP).
    There are 71 in the last syllable of the Alleluia 10-PP.
  • The Alleluya verse of Easter Day, Pascha nostrum =
    'Alleluya' itself and 'immolatus' of the verse.

    Offertory for Easter VI ; 'Jubilate Deo, the second 'jubilate
    This Offertory, as many here are aware is one of only several in which the words of the first two lines are identical (though the music for them is quite different.

    Alleluyas and their verses, and Offertories & Antiphons tend to have lengthy melismas

    The Graduals and Tracrts (many of which are the most ancient chants of the propers), and Offertoties typically, though not uniformly, tend to have the lengthiest melismatic passages. Communions are typically relatively simple, and introits (depending the given introit) fall sometimes in between.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    It seems to me that the original poster, Geramia, is NOT asking for the longest melisma (most neums on a single syllable), but rather is asking for the chant that has the highest AVERAGE number of neumes (notes?) per word (or syllable?).
    most melismatic chant—i.e., the highest number of neumes per word
    The present discussion (and older discussions) have not addressed this issue.
    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • An agreed upon definition of neume would also be helpful. Referring to individual notes within a melisma as neumes is nonstandard. The word can signify either 1. a group of up to six notes, better called a neumatic element, component, or group, or 2. all of the notes sung to a single syllable. The latter definition seems to be the one most accepted in current scholarly literature. In the Alleluia Te decet for the tenth Sunday after Pentecost, we find a melisma of 70 notes at the end of Jerusalem. The melisma is a compound neume with 24 components. We could speak of it as one neume according to definition 2, or 24 neumes according to definition 1, but not as 70 neumes. I personally find the second definition to be the most useful: neume=syllable. To ask about "the highest number of neumes per word" would simply be to ask for the word with the most syllables, but clearly that's not what the OP was getting at. The question would be better phrased as "the most notes per word" or "the longest neumes." There are many very melismatic graduals, alleluias, offertory verses, and Matins responsories, but I can't say which particular ones have the most compound neumes. As far as the Ordinary is concerned, ad libitum Kyrie I seems like a probable contender.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Geremia
  • PS - Note that the Rubrics for the Chant of the Mass refer to the jubilus of the alleluia twice as a neum, not neums.
  • Geremia
    Posts: 224
    There are 52 neums in the "glo-" of Gloria in Alleluia: Paratum cor meum (22post pentecost).
    I think you mean 20th post-Pentecost:
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259