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

  title={Beggar at the Door: The Rise and Fall of Portamento in Singing},
  author={John Potter},
  journal={Music and Letters},
  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… 

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