Portamento, sometimes called Slide, (such as on a Roland TB303 Bassline), is the sliding of one note up in pitch to the pitch of the following note.....The portamento switch, on/off, is midi controller number 64 for General Midi.
A means of carrying the voice from one note to the next, without break (see also: glissando). Example: Bellini: I Puritani - excerpt from the Mad Scene in Act II (from the CD NC 170562-2) The context: Elvira has gone mad. Her madness is an extension of depression. In this example, Edita Gruberova as Elvira portaments from ' lascia' up to ' temi [ morir]', i.e. "let me die". to convey Elvira's utter despair. The portamento is used for deep expressive intent. Golden Age singers were noted for their use of portamenti, often frowned upon by today's so-called purists: the portamento is an essential, vital effect for vocal expression.
(pour-tah-MEN-toe) The smooth movement in singing or playing a stringed instrument from one note to the next; a portamento can only be achieved in legato singing or playing, and is frequently compared to "glissando," which literally means sliding from one note to the next.
A continuous glide from one note to another, like sliding your finger up a guitar string. This is similar but different from a glissando, which plays discrete notes, like dragging your finger over the white keys of the keyboard. The rumor is that Korg considered portamento to be an unneeded feature, so it was not designed into the 01.
POHR-tah-MEN-toh]: The Italian word for "carrying" refers, in opera, to a means of vocally moving from one note to another. Rather than going directly from one note straight to the next, portamento allows the singer to vocally "bridge" the notes. Portamento shouldn't be confused, though, with sliding or scooping, and the decision of whether or not to use portamento is a stylistic one. While it may be appropriate at moments in Verdi, Donizetti or Puccini, it's really inappropriate stylistically in Mozart, for instance.