Multiple-Measure Glissando

• May 25, 2024 - 04:23

I'm working on writing out "A Day In The Life" by the Beatles. In this song, there is a glissando going from a C on beat 2.75 in measure 37 to an E on beat 1 of measure 45. How would I add this?


Well here's one way, though it's not a very good way (as you'll hear when you listen to it). And it just gets worse as it is extended over a longer time. Mine only extends over 3 measures. :-(

20240525 001448-multimeasure gliss.png

However, if you are talking about the huge, grand gliss. from 1:46 to 2:15 in, then if you listen to it closely, you'll hear that it's not merely a glissando. I believe I remember hearing that the director told the orchestra something along the lines of "everybody do random stuff, heading generally up for [whatever the top chord is] and I'll signal when to reach the top." I don't know how one would notate it.

Attachment Size
20240525 001448-multimeasure gliss.mscz 15.77 KB

Works fine here using MS 3.7, unwanted rests are hidden.

But as TheHutch says, a gliss is not what they did, below is the notation from The Beatles Complete, still an approximation but more like it.

In reply to by rothers

rothers, when I play what you wrote--with either gliss. mark and with rests displayed or hidden--I get a glissando that lasts only for the period of that initial note. During that measure, the glissando runs from the initial note to one half-step below the end note. Then there is silence over the intervening measures (the bars with the rests) until it reaches the measure with the top note in it, which plays normally.

Are you saying that you hear the glissando extending over the full (what is it?) eight-and-a-half measures???

In reply to by hbarrett28

It would depend on what instrumentation I had. If I were playing it solo on the guitar, I would shorten it radically and use some kind of fader pedal to utilize the full dynamic range of my guitar and amp. If I had an orchestra to play it, I'd do it roughly like that conductor is reputed to have done it: just tell all his players to start soft and on THIS chord and increase volume and raise pitch to THAT chord as he raised his hand.

I assume you're trying to do it electronically. If I were trying that, I would listen closely to what each section does in the recording and try to emulate that. For example, I think the violins were playing two notes a third apart, and raised it by scale steps through the octave (two octaves?) that they did. If I'm correct there, have the violins playing ECEC ECFD FDGE GEGE .... I think that the brass made it into a huge portamento glissando, working together to make sure that they never all breathed at the same point, so as to make the sound as continuous as possible.

I think I would also NOT try to make it last the full 30 seconds (the first time) or 50 seconds (? at the end). Although I think with electronic music, you are not limited by the same limitations as human players, so maybe you could carry it out even longer.

It's your work of art!!! :-)

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