Glissando » Special playing styles » Philipp Dangas


The glissando and its use

The glissando, i.e. the gradual raising or lowering of a tone after another tone with all imperceptible intermediate stages. It is performed in 3 ways.

  1. By sliding a finger along the string between the two tones.
  2. By sliding a finger along as in 1, with the final note being performed by another "falling" finger and …
  3. By sliding a finger as in 1, which is replaced by another finger during the glissando. Glissando can also be played over more than one string.

The glissando as part of the „symphonic world music“

The glissando marks one of the most original peculiarities. Its catchy coloring makes it possible to fulfill purely structuring functions (such as underlining formally important passages). To be used purely in terms of tone color or to facilitate technical implementation (where, for example, the change of position of the accompanying instruments could cause intonation problems).

There is also the possibility of imitating the rock guitar through the glissando (keyword: slide guitar or similar effects alá Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore ).

Key data on the special playing style of Glissando

Italian: Glissando
A left hand finger is placed on the string and slides up or down to a new pitch. The glissando can be played on a single bow or combined with tremolo.
Continuously sliding pitch change up or down
The first and last notes of the glissando are connected by a straight line. It can be combined with „gliss.“
Notation of the Glissando (gliss.)

Downloads for the glissando - score by Modest Moussorgsky

Sound file for the score "I.Gnomus" Download size: 156 kilobytes
PDF file for the score "I.Gnomus"
Download–size: 105 Kilobytes

Note on the score with an example of the glissando

Two graphics with a score excerpt follow. Excerpt from the pictures at an exhibition "I.Gnomus". Composition by Modest Moussorgsky. An example of glissando. The graphics can also be enlarged. They are Link-Sensitive [Clickable].