rubato

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rubato

Music
1. flexibility of tempo in performance
2. to be played with a flexible tempo
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rubato

 

in music, a term designating a rhythmically free (not strictly in time) execution of the notes. Rubato is usually associated with the acceleration and slackening of tempo.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
38 begin with philosophical reflections on the acquisition of real expressivity by mechanical means and end with the application of the earlier described tempo rubato: the left hand should be steady while the right-hand melody can anticipate or delay the beat.
113 also focuses on the application of tempo rubato and on the addition of "appoggiaturas".
tempo rubato. The necessity to assign [rhythmic] value to the notes robs appoggiaturas of their elegance, when one plays them with the exact rhythm in which they are written.
Wolfgang Mozart, in a letter to his father, 23 October 1777: "They cannot understand how I keep the left hand independent in the tempo rubato of an adagio, for with them the left hand always follows the right" (Hans Mermann, ed., Letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, trans.
He aims to provide no less than a history of tempo rubato as used and understood by all of the above from the beginnings of Western music to the present day, and beyond.
In Chapter 4 we see how in the eighteenth century it became associated with the violinist Franz Benda, who also applied the term 'rubato' to irregular groupings of melody notes; in the next century Paganini was noted for his use of tempo rubato 'by phrase' (i.e., over several bars of music rather than within one), while treatises by Pierre Baillot and Louis Spohr attempted to show (by notation and words respectively) how to use contrametric rubato for particular expressive effects.
This last (i.e., displacement of the whole texture via tempo flexibility) was first called 'tempo rubato' by Christian Kalkbrenner (father of Friedrich) in 1789, but the same connotation of the term is also implied by a passage in the presumed original version of Hummel's F minor Sonata (probably dating from the late 1790s), and in 1810 we find Philip Antony Corri (son of Domenico) taking this as the sole meaning of tempo rubato and adopting both a performer's and a composer's viewpoint: rubato is appropriate in certain situations but 'seldom lasts longer than a bar or two, and if done to excess is caricature' (Plate XV on p.
(2.) Richard Hudson, Stolen Time: The History of Tempo Rubato (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994): 2.
To make tempo rubato perceptible in singing, the accents and time of an accompaniment should be strictly maintained; upon this monotonous ground, all alterations introduced by a singer will stand out in relief, and change the character of certain phrases.
Two artists of a very different class--Garcia [the author's father] and Pagannini--excelled in the use of the tempo rubato. While the time was regularly maintained by an orchestra, they would abandon themselves to their inspiration, till the instant a chord changed, or else to the very end of the phrase.
The tempo rubato, again, is useful in preparing a shake, by permitting this preparation to take place on the preceding notes; thus: [Example 4]
Turk makes it clear, however, that generally, while 18th-century music does allow some rhythmic flexibility, there must remain a steadying larger unit: "Tempo Rubato is achieved by means of anticipation [or] retardation....