rubato

rubato

[roo-bah-toh; Italian roo-bah-taw] Music.
adjective
1.
having certain notes arbitrarily lengthened while others are correspondingly shortened, or vice versa.
noun, plural rubatos, rubati [roo-bah-tee; Italian roo-bah-tee] .
2.
a rubato phrase or passage.
3.
a rubato performance.
adverb
4.
in a rubato manner.

Origin:
1880–85; < Italian (tempo) rubato stolen (time), past participle of rubare to steal < Germanic; see rob

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World English Dictionary
rubato (ruːˈbɑːtəʊ)
 
n , pl -tos
1.  flexibility of tempo in performance
 
adj, —adv
2.  to be played with a flexible tempo
 
[C19: from the Italian phrase tempo rubato, literally: stolen time, from rubare to rob]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

rubato

(from Italian rubare, "to rob"), in music, subtle rhythmic manipulation and nuance in performance. For greater musical expression, the performer may stretch certain beats, measures, or phrases and compact others. The technique is seldom indicated on a musical score but may be utilized according to the performer's discretion. Rubato may affect only the melody (as in jazz) or the entire musical texture

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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