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  • noun Plural form of neume.


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  • He believes in neumes, the notation of the Church, because he regards them as easier to sing than modern notes and because they convey the sense that the music of the Church is different from other forms of music

    Music at St. Peter's: The Transformation

  • Instead, beginning in the early 10th century, they began experimenting with the mnenomic devices called neumes, sketched in over the lines of text as reminders of the melodies that had already been memorized.

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  • This would imply familiarity with the core repertoire and comfort with neumes, the notation of the music of the Church.

    How to Hire a Parish Musician

  • No matter how great otherwise, not knowing the basic people's music and sing from neumes mean no progress in the future.

    How to Hire a Parish Musician

  • He must read neumes and be able to play organ and direct a choir -- three traits that are not necessarily taught even at the PhD level in music schools. but even if those skills are mastered, it is not enough.

    The Roots of the Pay Problem

  • It is set in the minor mode of II, and it contains an unusual number of expressive neumes that requires some discipline and subtlety.

    Then went virtue out from him

  • I've met already a dozen or so people who are coming for the first time who are very well trained in music, with advanced degrees, but are coming to be retrained to read neumes, conduct and sing chant, become acquainted with the broader Catholic tradition, and want to understand more about the relationship between music and the liturgy.

    Who Wants to Be Trained in Sacred Music?

  • The development of the neumes into notes of various shapes indicating relative time values and the division of the staff into measures with a definite measure signature at the beginning are natural developments of the earlier primitive idea.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • Examples of several neumes are given merely in order to give the beginner a general idea of their appearance.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • This system of neumes was in some ways a retrogression from the Greek letter system, for the neumes indicated neither definite pitches nor definite tone-lengths.

    Music Notation and Terminology


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  • neume or neum (nm, nym)


    A sign used in the notation of plainsong during the Middle Ages, surviving today in transcriptions of Gregorian chants.

    Middle English, series of notes sung on one syllable, from Medieval Latin pneuma, from Greek, breath; see pneuma.

    June 3, 2008