Rubato

Subtle rhythmic manipulation and nuance in performance

"Rubato" is a musical term used to indicate that a performer can flexibly vary the rhythm, tempo, and sense of time in a musical performance. This term, derived from Italian, literally means "stolen" or "robbed", and it describes a style of musical interpretation in which the performer has the freedom to interpret and express a piece of music in their own way.

In a "Rubato" performance, musicians can freely change the music's rhythm, sometimes slowing down, other times speeding up, or pausing on certain notes to enhance the expressiveness and emotional depth of the music. This sense of liberated time allows performers to express the music more naturally and infuse it with their personal emotions.

"Rubato" is commonly found in classical music, particularly in works from the Romantic period, where performers often use this technique to intensify the emotional and expressive qualities of the music. It involves not strictly adhering to the rhythm written in the score but focusing more on the emotional flow of the music and personalized expression.

This technique requires performers to have a strong sense of musicality and musical understanding to ensure that the use of "Rubato" doesn't disrupt the overall structure of the music but rather adds depth and emotion to it. It makes the music more vivid, expressive, captivating for the audience, allowing them to connect more deeply with the emotions conveyed through the music.

Example of Rubato

What Does Rubato Mean? Playing Rubato