neum

[Gothic neum] Term in medieval music theory denoting a kind of melody, or a notational sign. Applied to a melody, neum means a series of tones sung without words, generally on the last vowel of a text. The usual place of such neums is in responsorial singing in the Mass. The more important use of the term is that in which it means the signs used in the notation of Gregorian Chant.

New Catholic Dictionary

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