Portato

Summary

Portato ([porˈtaːto]; Italian past participle of portare, "to carry"), also mezzo-staccato, French notes portées,[1] in music denotes a smooth, pulsing articulation and is often notated by adding dots under slur markings.

Portato is also known as articulated legato.[2]

DescriptionEdit

 
One type of portato notation, also used for staccato and flying spiccato.

Portato is a bowing technique for stringed instruments,[3] in which successive notes are gently re-articulated while being joined under a single continuing bow stroke. It achieves a kind of pulsation or undulation, rather than separating the notes. It has been notated in various ways. One early 19th-century writer, Pierre Baillot (L’art du violon, Paris, 1834), gives two alternatives: a wavy line, and dots under a slur. Later in the century a third method became common: placing "legato" dashes (tenuto) under a slur.[1] The notation with dots under slurs is ambiguous, because it is also used for very different bowings, including staccato and flying spiccato.[1][4] Currently, portato is sometimes indicated in words, by "mezzo-staccato" or "non-legato"; or can be shown by three graphic forms:

  • a slur that encompasses a phrase of staccato notes (the most common), or
  • a tenuto above a staccato mark (very often), or
  • a slur that encompasses a phrase of tenuto notes (less common).[5]

Portato is defined by some authorities as "the same as portamento".[6]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Walls, Peter. 2001. "Bow, §II, 3. Bowstrokes after c1780, (iii) Portato (It.; Fr. notes portées, louré)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  2. ^ Blood, Brian. 2012. "Music Theory Online: Lesson 21: Phrasing & Articulation". Dolmetsch Organisation (Accessed 19 December 2012).
  3. ^ Anon. 2001. "Portato". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  4. ^ Walls, Peter. 2001. "Bow, §II, 3. Bowstrokes after c1780, (vi) Staccato". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  5. ^ Tsai, Chia-Fen. 2008. "Articulation". The "Thirty Caprices" of Sigfrid Karg-Elert: A Comprehensive Study. AAT 3325459.[full citation needed] ISBN 9780549808930.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Michael. 1994. "Portato". The Oxford Dictionary of Music, second edition, revised. Associate editor, Joyce Bourn. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869162-9.