Beggar at the Door: The Rise and Fall of Portamento in Singing

@article{Potter2006BeggarAT,
  title={Beggar at the Door: The Rise and Fall of Portamento in Singing},
  author={John Potter},
  journal={Music and Letters},
  year={2006},
  volume={87},
  pages={523 - 550}
}
  • John Potter
  • Published 1 November 2006
  • History
  • Music and Letters
With the exception of some opera singers, portamento is avoided as far as possible by today's performers. It is an aspect of singing that even today's early music specialists have chosen not to recover from the past despite overwhelming evidence for its use. This paper examines the historical literature on portamento, first in the pregramophone era then in the context of recordings in the twentieth century (when the literature can be matched with actual performances). There is a short case… 

Performance in the seventeenth century: an overview

Music of the Baroque era has occupied a special place in the drive towards ‘authentic’, ‘period’ or (so current parlance prefers) ‘historically informed’ performance. HIP is, of course, hip, and has

Instrumental performance in the twentieth century and beyond

The intricacies and challenges of musical performance have recently attracted the attention of writers and scholars to a greater extent than ever before. Research into the performer's experience has

Instrumental performance in the seventeenth century

Beethoven, Schubert and musical performance in Vienna from the Congress until 1830 As a major centre with a long tradition of performance, Vienna richly reflects the varied locations and types of

Trombone glissando: a case study in continuity and change in brass instrument performance idioms

The glissando is one of the key idiomatic features of the slide trombone. It appears to have originated in the improvisatory practices of circus and itinerant theater groups in the mid-19th c. There

Instrumental performance in the ‘long eighteenth century’

Arcangelo Corelli dated the dedication to his Opus 5 violin sonatas 1 January 1700, suggesting an awareness that the new century might usher in a change of outlook. By 1710, these sonatas had

A History of Singing

Introduction Part I. Imagined Voices: Mythology and Muses Part II. Historical Voices: 1. The genesis of the Western tradition 2. The emerging soloist and the primacy of text 3. The age of the

The performer and the composer

His execution is not polished – that is, his playing is not unblemished . . . his improvising gave me much pleasure . . . sometimes he does astonishing things. Besides, he ought not be thought of as

Do as Some Said, or as Most Did?-A Foucauldian Experiment with Nineteenth-Century HIP

Performers and researchers who explore performance practices of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries frequently come up against a problem recently highlighted by musicologist Daniel

The ideal Orpheus : an analysis of virtuosic self-accompanied singing as an historical vocal performance practice

Evidence of self-accompanied singing in western music permeates elite music making from classical antiquity to the early twentieth century. Originating in the mythology and culture of Ancient Greece,

The Ancient World

The notion of ‘performance’ was central to the practice and ideology of ancient Greek and Roman societies: a politician's speech or a lawyer's closing, a choral exhibition or a sport competition were

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 22 REFERENCES

Towards a Verdian Ideal of Singing: Emancipation from Modern Orthodoxy

  • R. Freitas
  • History
    Journal of the Royal Musical Association
  • 2002
To try to understand the vocal styles demanded by the famously exacting Giuseppe Verdi, I consider a wide range of evidence, including the composer's scores and letters, contemporary treatises,

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera

Incorporating a decade of musicological research, the Dictionary is unsurpassed in its scope and quality, with contributions from over 1,300 of the world's leading critics and scholars. A remarkable

Performing Music in the Age of Recording

Listeners have enjoyed classical music recordings for more than a century, yet important issues about recorded performances have been little explored. What is the relationship between performance and

Treatise on vocal performance and ornamentation

Acknowledgments Translator's introduction and commentary Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation: Preface Dedication 1. On the qualities of the human voice and its improvement 2. On good

Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900

Foreword Introduction 1. Accentuation in Theory 2. Accentuation in Practice 3. The Notation of Accents and Dynamics 4. Articulation 5. Articulation and Expression 6. The Notation of Articulation and

On Playing the Flute

Johann Joachim Quantz's On Playing Flute has long been recognized as one of the most significant and inThis edition provides detailed treatment of, them survived as good player. Of the pulse which go

Manuel Garcia (1775-1832): Chronicle of the Life of a "Bel Canto" Tenor at the Dawn of Romanticism (review)

Introduction Birth, Education, and Early Performances, 1775-1797 Debut in Madrid, 1798-1799 Malaga and Garcias Return to Madrid, 1799-1804 Last Years in Madrid, 1805-1807 Establishing a Career: Paris

Introduction to the art of singing

Acknowledgments Introduction: Agricola's treatise Introduction to the art of singing Translator's preface Foreword of the author Introduction of the author 1. Observations for the use of the singing