Rubato [tempo rubato] (It.: ‘robbed or stolen time’)
- Richard Hudson
The expressive alteration of rhythm or tempo. In an earlier type the melody is altered while the accompaniment maintains strict time. A later type involves rhythmic flexibility of the entire musical substance. Both originated as a part of unnotated performing practice, but were later sometimes indicated in scores. Some modern writers refer to the earlier and later types as melodic and structural, borrowed and stolen, contrametric and agogic, or bound and free....