Since we don't have a category for items strictly Theoretical (maybe we could add one?), I thought this would be the best file for my subject. Elsewhere, I objected to the notion that rhythm could be subject to personal interpretation, but acknowleged that rubato is (13th post of 2nd page at viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5276&start=15). In the ensuing discussion I made arguments against the idea that rubato affects rhythm, stating that rhythm is seperate from rubato, using arguments from A. the principle of musical notation and B. the phenomenon of multiple players in an ensemble playing together despite executing rubato (this despite the improbable (some might say impossible) phenomenon of many individual musicians individually and simultaneously interpreting disperate rhythmic values, presumably changing by virtue of rubato, in a manner exactly equivalent as all others such that synchronization remains). Having put forth my arguments, I relented going tit-for-tat. But now I have a new line of reasoning to add. To be clear, I again state that IMO rubato doesn't affect rhythm, but rather affects tempo. One might (and should) ask, "the tempo of what?" The answer is "the tempo of the tempo." For those confused by that statement, consider that you have a heart rate and that heart rate can be adjusted physiologically or by a physician when need be (tachycardia may be slowed, and bradycardia may be accelerated). A normal sinus rhythm of the heart may be heard at various heart rates. In a similar way, meter and tempo serve as the fabric or foundation that the particulars of a musical work reside upon. Rubato then is nothing more than the gradual transition between differing tempos, in direct analogy to the dynamic gradations that the pianoforte offered to the terraced dynamics of the harpsichord. Rubato is to tempo, exactly what crescendo/descrescendo is to dynamics. As the second does not affect pitch, so the first does not affect rhythm. Two new arguments to support the view that rhythm is not affected by rubato (as before, these are musical arguments): 1a. Consider that whether one plays the 1st movement of the Beethoven "Moonlight" piano sonata in a very slow tempo (such that it is sounded in 4/4 time), or in a relatively faster tempo (consistent with a 2/2 time as indicated), the rhythm of both the score and its realization in both performances is identical. Therefore, rhythm is a relationship not subject to tempo. 1b. If differing tempos per se do not change rhythm, then it follows that gradations of change between different tempos (rubato) cannot affect rhythm. 2. Having argued before that the phenomenon of ensemble among players despite use of rubato suggests that rhythm is not affected by rubato, I realized that that was only half the argument. Notation in music includes both sound AND SILENCE. For every note there is a rest, including rests for entire measures and even tacit abbreviations for collections of silent bars. It occured to me that when an instrumentalist or vocalist in a large work (such as Verdi's Requiem for chorus, soloists and orchestra) has occasions of momentary or lengthy resting, during which time there are expressive passages that entail use of rubato, the taciting musicians have NO RHYTHM to observe being affected by the rubato, rather only the tempo of the underlying meter (as demonstrated by the conductor's gestures). For these musicians, it is impossible for rubato to affect rhythm, because they have none to be affected, nonetheless, due to an engagement (no matter how passive) in the progress of the meter, their next entry will be perfectly synchronized. 3. To update my conductor argument: A conductor uses the two domains of managing tempo and dynamics to provide a unique interpretation of a work (ignoring particulars of voicing and phrase shaping that are pursued in rehearsal). When chosing or adjusting the tempo in real-time, never is the rhythm of a work changed. No matter how fast or how slow the tempo, no matter how stretched or contracted the change between tempos, the rhythm remains unchanged in the context of the meter it is found in. Summary: Rubato affects the tempo of the meter, not rhythm. Rubato is to tempo what [de]crescendo is to dynamics; they are both adjustments to changeable (interpretable) elements of a work. The first has no affect on rhythm as the second has no affect on pitch. Rhythm and pitch are unchangeable elements of a work. Edits: Added a bit here and there and corrected my ever-present spelling mistakes.