Definition of portamento in English:



  • 1A slide from one note to another, especially in singing or playing the violin.

    ‘some schmaltzy portamentos’
    [mass noun] ‘vibrato and portamento are kept under strict supervision’
    • ‘Strings possess that ‘white’ sounding, non-vibrato blend which keep textures absolutely clear, while the tiny touches of Italian portamenti give a foretaste of Rossini and Donizetti, who were shortly to arrive on the scene.’
    • ‘Horenstein brings out every bizarre detail and even puts some in - string portamenti where none are written, deliberate smears in the brass, even slightly sour wind playing - all of which contributes to one's psychic queasiness.’
    • ‘String vibrato is less prominent in these recordings, and portamenti are used both for expression and to create a living legato.’
    • ‘I have a very strong feeling in the Andante Cantabile of the players only just resisting the temptation to portamento slides between the notes.’
    • ‘Ilona Domnich and Betabée Haas relished the wonderfully silly vocal rivalry in The Impresario, the swooning portamenti of one's ‘adagio, adagio!’’
    • ‘String players slid expressively from one note to the next - portamento, the style was called - in imitation of the slide of the voice.’
    • ‘In arias such as ‘Quando le sere al placido’ from Luisa Miller, some might feel that Bocelli overdoes the portamento, though; at times he's even croony.’
    • ‘For instance, singers and string players used to slide between important notes of a phrase, an articulation called portamento that generally vanished by 1950.’
    • ‘The other instrumental, ‘A Hymnal’, belongs to guest cellist Anna Fritz, whose portamento flights are the most sensual thing on the album.’
    • ‘In these 1949 recordings the strings are much more forward and emphasized, though the brass is certainly there, and the portamento utilized more.’
    • ‘His intonation, mode of approaching each note and portamenti in ‘Di Cupido impiego i vanni’, his words upon arrival, with Haim's spot-on accompaniment, said it all.’
    • ‘With generous string portamenti and relaxed rhythmic pointing, Karajan also washes the Czech character out of the Eighth Symphony.’
  • 2[mass noun] Piano playing in a manner intermediate between legato and staccato.

    [as modifier] ‘a portamento style’


Italian, literally carrying.