Rubato

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
D.Cass
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Re: Rubato

Post by D.Cass » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:15 am

Well, there are general rules for rubato. The push and pull of a phrase may rely on many factors: harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, and overall phrase. Well done rubato takes into account all these factors to form an interpretation. Yes, there is a lot of analysis involved. However, that is the beauty of music as it requires both the rational and artistic aspects of the brain.

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Tony Hyman
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Re: Rubato

Post by Tony Hyman » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:18 am

I believe its something that feels right to the player and the listener.Almost like triplets which also allow for different interpretations,some widely spaced other more cramped according to the taste of the soloists .Ensemble or section performance more defined according to consensus or the interpretation of a particular conductor.So I concur with Largartia as far as the "singing" aspect goes with respect to Rabato in tremolo pieces,it would be the natural trait or trade mark of the player concerned.This would distinguish the mechanical from the undefined, soulful/spiritual aspect of a performance..

D.Cass
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Re: Rubato

Post by D.Cass » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:39 pm

I will agree singing phrases is important and often a requirement as it gives an audio image to strive for, assuming that it is sung correctly and one has recording to follow. But I want to provide a counter argument. Let’s take an example of a simple pick up note, not just in the beginning but every note that picks up into the next phrase. Realizing the note belongs to the following measure changes how we interpret it. That note will lean to beat 1. If one realizes this then it can be applied to all pick ups notes and phrases become more defined. One can look at rubato as the art of defining phrases. Just like an actor has to take into account the punctuation in a script to bring the words to life.

In the case of triplets it depends on the context. If you are playing something such as a prelude or fantasy than one can be more liberal in approach. However, if it is in a dance and the triplet is not in the pocket then the beat is obscured. Triplets in general are used to create rhythmic tension if it surrounded be evenly divided notes. And not by playing them evenly defeats the composers intentions.

WilliamSchart
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Re: Rubato

Post by WilliamSchart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:10 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:34 pm
Repeating what others say, I'd a) switch off the metronome and b) feel the piece. Deliberately exaggerate rubato as a way of slowing down for technically difficult passages. Exaggerate the singing, exaggerate everything. It's like slow practice, except that you only play slowly in places.
With all due respect, I’m going to disagree. Slowing down for technically difficult passages means you’re either playing to fast overall or you’re attempting too difficult a piece. Slowing down is only an expressive device if you’re capable of playing the passage full speed. Then you’re slowing down because you want to, not because you have to.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Rubato

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:48 am

WilliamSchart wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:10 pm
Andrew Fryer wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:34 pm
Repeating what others say, I'd a) switch off the metronome and b) feel the piece. Deliberately exaggerate rubato as a way of slowing down for technically difficult passages. Exaggerate the singing, exaggerate everything. It's like slow practice, except that you only play slowly in places.
With all due respect, I’m going to disagree. Slowing down for technically difficult passages means you’re either playing to fast overall or you’re attempting too difficult a piece. Slowing down is only an expressive device if you’re capable of playing the passage full speed. Then you’re slowing down because you want to, not because you have to.
I didn't really mean it quite that literally - it was just a loose example.
On the other hand, if you were suggesting play it at the slowest necessary speed with a metronome, I'd say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Added next morning:
OK, I was drunk when I wrote that, and I don't really want to try to be explicit about something so subjective.
Reading the OP carefully, I'd say, just keep at it, and, like everything else, it will come with practice.

Re rhythm, I feel that to an extent expression and rhythm are opposites. Part of musicianship is to know which is more important and to communicate it. It seriously bugs me when I hear a piece that has lost its rhythmic core.

Or perhaps it's the case that rhythm is a scaffold that the expression hangs on and should be kept intact?
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

Rognvald
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Re: Rubato

Post by Rognvald » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:29 pm

Added next morning:
OK, I was drunk when I wrote that, and I don't really want to try to be explicit about something so subjective.
Andrew Fryer


O.K. Andrew,
I will be certain to notify the "Thought Police" after your next questionable response. However, I hope your aforementioned experience was a worthy pursuit. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Rubato

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:10 pm

It wasn't questionable, just questioned.
I stick by it - you can play a whole piece very very slowly to deal with technical difficulties, but I think it is OK temporarily to vary the speed too depending on technical difficulties, if you have never had experience in varying speed (and I can tell from some of the robotics I hear on Youtube that some people have been taught that way).
The point is flexibility - you want to become flexible in how you make speed flexible. I advise you employ any and every method to achieve that, therefore it follows logically that one TEMPORARY method is to get slower when the music gets more technical.
Take for example Brouwer ES 4.
There are three main points.
a) the 5/4 time
b) the fluidity of the bass melody
c) the left-hand moves at bar 8
An absolute beginner may have to play slowly to count out the 5/4 rhythm.
Someone who is less of a beginner should play it faster so that it actually sounds rhythmical and because the bass melody is so important.
I ENJOY slowing down at bars 7 to 9 in order to combine forced expressivity in the bass with all the left hand gymnastics that are going on there, especially as it crescendos there too. (I'm not saying that is how I'd rubato it if I were technically accomplished enough to play the whole piece at speed without hesitation.).

Or take ES 1. Similar but more extreme - some play it like an express train. I rubato it all the way through. I think it is beautiful. Presumably those who play it like a robot don't have any appreciation of it.

Here's a thought experiment - take what Segovia says about the bass strings being like a cello. How are you going to apply that to these two Brouwer pieces?
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

Rognvald
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Re: Rubato

Post by Rognvald » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:08 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:10 pm
It wasn't questionable, just questioned.
I stick by it - you can play a whole piece very very slowly to deal with technical difficulties, but I think it is OK temporarily to vary the speed too depending on technical difficulties, if you have never had experience in varying speed (and I can tell from some of the robotics I hear on Youtube that some people have been taught that way).
The point is flexibility - you want to become flexible in how you make speed flexible. I advise you employ any and every method to achieve that, therefore it follows logically that one TEMPORARY method is to get slower when the music gets more technical.
Take for example Brouwer ES 4.
There are three main points.
a) the 5/4 time
b) the fluidity of the bass melody
c) the left-hand moves at bar 8
An absolute beginner may have to play slowly to count out the 5/4 rhythm.
Someone who is less of a beginner should play it faster so that it actually sounds rhythmical and because the bass melody is so important.
I ENJOY slowing down at bars 7 to 9 in order to combine forced expressivity in the bass with all the left hand gymnastics that are going on there, especially as it crescendos there too. (I'm not saying that is how I'd rubato it if I were technically accomplished enough to play the whole piece at speed without hesitation.).

Or take ES 1. Similar but more extreme - some play it like an express train. I rubato it all the way through. I think it is beautiful. Presumably those who play it like a robot don't have any appreciation of it.

Here's a thought experiment - take what Segovia says about the bass strings being like a cello. How are you going to apply that to these two Brouwer pieces?


Geez, Andrew . . . did I miss the comedy ball? I promise to try harder next time. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Rubato

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:06 pm

novice wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:27 am
Hello, Fellow Travelers,

I'm working on Una Limosna For El Amor de Dios. My teacher, whose version is the best I've heard, was kind enough to let me record him employing varying degrees of rubato in different parts. I am getting there as far as copying his phrases, but am feeling rather lackluster when it comes to generalizing the technique.

Any analysis or pointers to past masters' exegeses, especially with regard to application of rubato within the context of a tremolo piece like this, would be greatly appreciated.

Mille grazie,
Jason
Generally for a a piece like Una Limosina or Alhambra, etc. that are tremolos mostly, you would sound boring if you play mechanically from the beginning to the end, that where rubato comes in to help you sound more interesting. The application would depend on your phrasings...
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

Rasputin
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Re: Rubato

Post by Rasputin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:30 pm

It might be useful to clarify terms a bit. A good rendition of a piece like Una limosna is bound to vary in tempo but to me (is it just me?) that is not really rubato. Otherwise every time you see accelerando or whatever it means that the composer is asking you to play the piece rubato - that doesn't sound right to me. The way I look at it, it means holding back a little here and rushing on a little there, a few notes at a time, but with the understanding that the underlying tempo has not changed - in fact the effect only works if you sense that the note is off the beat. At some point you must come back into sync.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Rubato

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:39 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:30 pm
It might be useful to clarify terms a bit. A good rendition of a piece like Una limosna is bound to vary in tempo but to me (is it just me?) that is not really rubato. Otherwise every time you see accelerando or whatever it means that the composer is asking you to play the piece rubato - that doesn't sound right to me. The way I look at it, it means holding back a little here and rushing on a little there, a few notes at a time, but with the understanding that the underlying tempo has not changed - in fact the effect only works if you sense that the note is off the beat. At some point you must come back into sync.
You are right, I did say it very generally. But I don't recall any examples of rubato where composer meant to say accelerando but I think you are referring to it more metaphorically. Rubato should rob the time.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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