Robotic Repeats Lacking in Tempo Rubato. First of all, what is tempo rubato? Tempo rubato ([ˈtɛmpo ruˈbaːto]; “free in the presentation”, Italian for “stolen time”). It is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom. It is done by slightly speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of the music. This is totally at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor.
In this context I’ve featured a picture from the movie, Pink Panther. A Princess “Dala” receives a gift from her father. It is the largest the largest diamond in the world. This huge pink gem has a tiny discolored inclusion. It resembles a leaping panther. She escaped from her country with the diamond after a hostile takeover. Her country is called Lugash.
During a costume party at Dala’s villa in Rome, Sir Charles and his nephew separately attempt to steal the diamond. Shockingly, they find it already missing from the safe. In the true Italian sense of the word, we have a series of “rubatos.” Ironically, Henry Mancini’s four-note theme from the Pink Panther, is played in strict tempo. No rubato.
Robotic Repeats Avoided in Tempo Rubato
Speed and power are the gods of today. This is mostly accomplished under steady tempos. These “gods” were shunned in the past. In defining “rubato”, within the context of the beat, there is much give and take. Mozart and Chopin’s use of rubato added to their fame. Nothing was ever repeated the same way twice in this technique. On a repeat, you were expected to played it differently. Rubato is quite effective in slow, emotional music. It was used in romances, adagios and nocturnes. However, even in the 1600’s Johann Froberger recommended that a lament be played “without a steady beat.” There are other types of music lacking steady beat. My free sample below of my own Dervish Dance illustrates another genre. Is is excerpted from DSOworks.com That is my website.