A rapid ascending or descending of the scale. If a glissando is performed on a piano or harp, not every semitone is sounded, because the finger is drawn across only the white keys in the case of the piano or the scale available in the case of the harp. If, however, a glissando is performed on a stringed instrument such as a violin, each semitone would be sounded as the finger is either slid up or down the length of a string, or fingering each note separately. A glissando is also possible on wind instruments, however, each note must be fingered separately with the notable exception of the trombone.
Due to the unique construction of the trombone with no valves or keys, the glissando is easy to perform. Slang terms for the trombone glissando include tailgate and smear.
The common abbreviation for glissando is Gliss.