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what is tempo rubato...

Discussion in 'Technique' started by johnmar78, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well guys, I thought I must talk a bit on pS.

    Tempo rubato "This is not an exact science"--....stolen time is never cancel it self ....

    For those who are unfamiliar with the term, tempo rubato refers to the art of controlling time. The word originates from the Italian rubare, meaning to steal. I once attended a masterclass given by Daniel Barenboim, who cleverly explained the term thus: Tempo rubato means to "steal" time, and since we're ethical people, we give back whatever we steal.

    What exactly is it that we "steal" in music? The answer is that we play some notes slightly ahead of time, or slightly late. We can then balance out the phrase by playing the rest of it a bit slower or faster. It's essential to emphasize that tempo rubato is by no means an exact science, and the time taken and given back will almost never truly cancel themselves out—nor should they necessarily. It's simply a guideline, ideal or rule of thumb.


    Thanks for reading..
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hi Johnmar 78,
    You may not realize that you may be igniting fuses that may lead to a flame war ... of which Chris is apparently quite fond of :D . I will say simply that tempo rubato is IMO best thought of at the tempo level not the rhythm level as the name implies. If you can picture how a conductor would manage to gesture rubato tempos (ritardando, accelerando, etc.) but the instrumentalist would still play all the right rhythms, I think this is the best understanding of tempo rubato. It is, as you say, most certainly a matter of taste - and one of strong opinions too.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good heavens, yes I do love flame wars. Throw a little ammo in every now and then, and watch the spectacle from the sideline. Great entertainment :D
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    :lol: :lol:
     

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