Three usual gimpppa.orgal markings for steady slowing down room ritardando, rallentando, and also allargando. How do this differ indigenous each various other in interpretation and execution? because that example, ns was taught plenty of moons ago that where ritardando supposed to slow-moving down gradually, rallentando intended to slow-moving down more dramatically, but others have actually said that rallentando deserve to be an ext gradual, still enabling for rubato and also such effects.

You are watching: What does rallentando mean in music

Is over there a most common interpretation the these, or is it really as much as the performer how it come out? go the execution readjust by the duration of the gift played (e.g., a rit. In a timeless piece being much more measured than the very same in a Romantic one)?

ingredient performing
boost this inquiry
edited Apr 17 "15 in ~ 15:06

45.5k2222 yellow badges142142 silver- badges273273 bronze title
asked Apr 17 "15 in ~ 14:26

48111 yellow badge33 silver badges1111 bronze badges
include a comment |

6 answers 6

energetic oldest Votes
Ritardando and rallentando both median gradually getting slower and also according to my ab guide come theory publication they are both supposed to indicate a steady slowing down. And allargando means broadening, implying obtaining a tiny slower and probably likewise a small louder.

Without a doubt execution sometimes changes in part cases, because words deserve to change definition over time. For example, ritenuto initially meant an abrupt change, although now it carries the same definition as rallentando or ritardando.

However, to my expertise and accessibility to information, I could not find any type of reliable citation almost everywhere that claims that rallentando and ritardando might be understood differently. However, there is this blog whereby some worthwhile digging around has to be done and the researcher indicates that there may be a subtle difference in between the 2 words, as they space two different words the the Italian language. From an Italian-English dictionary the author found:

Ritardare: “be late, wait, retard, lag, stay, lose, delay, set back, defer, put off.”

Rallentare: “slow down, mitigate speed, slacken, slow, die down, decelerate, check, put back.”

This implies that ritardando seems to it is in a deliberate slowly or being late, if rallentando seems to be an ext of a letting go or dying away.(although it becomes comparable to smorzando and also raising the very same question all over again).

See more: What Is 8.3 Repeating As A Fraction 8, How Do You Convert 0

Therefore, I concerned the conclusion the composers may have used all three words differently but what the distinctions were, especially between rallentando and ritardando (discounting allargando together my publication has given unique directions ~ above that), might be too subjective and individual particular to define properly and also therefore, if one have to be pedantic, that is finest to leaving it to professionals who have studied the composer to offer the final opinion. The blog gives an idea on this. For this reason yes, it must vary slightly not just from era to era but also from composer to composer.