Glissando on the Piano Keyboard: «Extended» Interpretation of the Traditional Method of Sound Extraction (historical aspect)




extended piano techniques, glissando, glissando on the keyboard, works for clavier / piano solo, tone-painting, virtuosity


Relevance of the study and scientific novelty of the research are determined by its main objectives — to study glissando on keyboard from the position of extended piano techniques and justify its inclusion into this system; to show the history of development this method of playing; to clarify the various ways of using glissando in piano music of the 20th — beginning of the 21st centuries.

Methodology of the research: historical — is to show the process of becoming glissando on the keyboard: from its inception in 17th century music to an active development over several centuries; systemic — is to present “extended piano techniques” as a system of non-standard ways of playing the piano, which allow to achieve many interesting sound effects, as well as demonstrate the virtuoso component of the composition; comparative — consists in analytically presenting and comparing two ideas for using keyboard glissando in works, how they affect the disclosure of the artistic intent of each composer; performance method consists in studying the feasibility of using a glissando on a keyboard and its types in musical works of various composer’s schools of several centuries.

Conclusions. The research of the Klavier works at the end of 17th — the beginning of the 21st centuries demonstrates using glissando is to engage a new element that clearly reveals the virtuoso and sound component of the work. Indeed, virtuosity and sound creation have become the main factors behind the introduction of keyboards glissandi. Also, the evolution of music has led to an increase in the number and variety of keyboard’s glissandi types. Initially, composers used one way of gliding. Then, the combination of several variants of glissando became the popular technical solution of many authors. Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century, the composers began to build a whole work on the keyboard glissandi.

So, the significant development; huge transformations of ideas of its use; various modifications according to its technical and color characteristics allow to be viewed glissando on the keyboard from the perspective of its «extended» interpretation.

Significance of the research. Until now, most Ukrainian scientists haven’t considered glissando on the keyboard to be included to the system of extended piano techniques. In this work the analytically grounded positions which allow to plug the key glissando and its modifications in the system of extended methods playing the piano.

Author Biography

Anastasiia Sharina, Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine

postgraduate student at the Department of Music Theory


Glissando [Glissando] (1991). Musical Encyclopedic Dictionary [Muzykal’nyj jenciklopedicheskij slovar’]. Moscow: Soviet Encyclopedia, p. 139 [in Russian].

Extended techniques [online]. Available at: (Accessed 12.11.2019) [in English].

Proulx, J.-F. (2009). A Pedagogical Guide to Extended Piano Techniques: Doctor of Musical Arts. Temple University. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 138 p. [in English].

Reiko, I. (2005). The Development of Extended Piano Techniques in Twentieth-Century American Music: Doctor of Music. The Florida State University College of Music. Florida, 126 p. [in English].

Vaes, L. (2009). Extended Piano Techniques in Theory, History and Performance Practice: Doctoral thesis. Leiden University. Leiden, 1081 р. [in English].





Genre and stylistic processes in the musical culture of the past and the present