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Whitney Houston and the art of melisma

15 February 2012 Last updated at 12:09 GMT

Whitney Houston will be remembered as a master of "melisma".

The singer had an ability to pack a series of different notes into a single syllable.

For example, an early "I" in Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You takes nearly six seconds to sing.

The technique is repeated throughout the song, most pronouncedly on every "I" and "you".

In this clip, opera singer Sarah-Jane Dale demonstrates the use of melisma. It is followed by an extract from Whitney Houston's version of I Will Always Love You.