This is an important technique to create melodious and emotional songs.
Glissando is an Italian word to describe a tough technique which proceeded from Bel Canto.
Glissando means to glide through a bunch of florid notes with velocity in only 1 breathe (different from staccato - the breathe is seperate or trillo - only 2 notes are repeated).
Later on, glissando become common in pop music, like a must-have ingredient for a singer to explode his or her emotion in a song. It is used for singing voices, glides on a specific pitch.
A singer with a wide range and a flexible voice with well-trained skills tends to master glissando excellently.
In the song It’s only my world, at 3:35, Lee Heari (Davichi) lowered the vibrato speed and used glissando at E5 right after.
In Somewhere over the rainbow, at 3:08, Patti Labelle slowed down her breathe on middle range, and used high-speed glissando at G#5.
Christina Aguilera also show this skill (without vibrato) at 1:03 :
In Sau tất cả, at 3:10, Hồ Ngọc Hà used glissando at E5.
In Though I loved you, at 4:02, So Hyang used glissando at F#5 to make the peak sounds more dramatic.
In Sette uomini d’oro, at 2:58, Mina used glissando with her head voice at B5.
In Adventures in paradise, at 2:48, Minnie Riperton used glissando during her whistle.
This is a complete Youtube Video showing how to do it from MusicLesson.eu
After listening to the above examples, you could have probably noticed that all the glissando were only used once or twice in a song, yet at the very precious parts, like an impetus of the big emotion bursts. The “precious parts” mentioned here are the peaks when the beat or the orchestra is rapid-fire or more powerful than the rest, so the singer uses glissando to harmonize with them and creates an emotional chorus.
Singers tend to hold the note at first, then raise the speed and power of vibratos to create hurricanes of sounds with bursts of emotions. It was the speed of vibratos with fortissimo that made the singer able to create those hurricanes with their own voice, to dramatise the song, please the audiences instead of annoying them with sharp, heavy sounds. This skill brings great hearing effect and compliments the singer themselves.
To do gorgeous glissandos, it doesn’t depend on just the skill, but also the singer’s sense of music. The singer should be able to feel each rhythm, melody and also the volume of the orchestra to choose and adjust the exact time for glissando, not too soon or too late, not too long or too short, to charm the listeners. The wrong or senseless use of glissando will make the song heavy, show-off and shallow.
If you are a singer and on your way of training, don’t forget to use glissando in some parts that you consider needed to burst the emotions.