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Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando

GUEST,Rachel 24 Jan 01 - 11:13 AM
Wolfgang 24 Jan 01 - 11:34 AM
Sorcha 24 Jan 01 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Rachel 24 Jan 01 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Rachel 24 Jan 01 - 11:55 AM
Noreen 24 Jan 01 - 12:32 PM
NightWing 24 Jan 01 - 04:07 PM
catspaw49 24 Jan 01 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Joe Bloggs 27 Mar 12 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 12 - 03:02 PM
Tootler 27 Mar 12 - 05:49 PM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 12 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 27 Mar 12 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 12 - 09:11 PM
Darowyn 28 Mar 12 - 03:42 AM
Steve Howlett 28 Mar 12 - 05:16 AM
Marje 28 Mar 12 - 08:34 AM
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Subject: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:13 AM

Could anyone define what is the difference between ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando?


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:34 AM

I can help you a bit. Ritenuto is 'slower (effective immediately)', the other two mean 'getting slower (gradually)'. I don't know whether there is a differeence between these two.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:38 AM

Try this-- Musical Terms Dictionary . This is the P-R page.....


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:52 AM

That's how I thought it. A not very well known book that I have writes "Ritenuto (rit): A little slower", "Ritardando (Ritard): More slower" and "Ralletando (rall): bigger slower". I guess it is wrong isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:55 AM

That's how I thought it. A not very well known book that I have writes "Ritenuto (rit): A little slower", "Ritardando (Ritard): More slower" and "Ralletando (rall): bigger slower". I guess it is wrong isn't it? I believe Rallentando, rall is getting little by little slower and is synonymous with ritardando and ritenuto is going suddently slower. But is rallentando and ritardanto slower than ritenuto?


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 12:32 PM

As musical terms are often abbreviated on written music, and in verbal direction, rall. is more often used for a gradual slowing down and rit. (meaning ritenuto) for an immediate change.

e.g. a choral director might say "rit. at D and rall. to the end."


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: NightWing
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 04:07 PM

Hmm, I'm stunned and amazed. I have always thought of rallentando as meaning "slow this bit down (gradually) and then return to the original tempo" and ritardanto as "slow the 'base tempo' down (gradually)" IOW, slow down and stay slow. Always nice to learn something new; especially when it's something you knew (incorrectly) before. *G*

I don't have the impression that there is a difference in 'how much' to slow the tempo down between the two words. And tempo is ALWAYS a matter more of interpretation than notation.

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 04:35 PM

I thought it was three of my second cousins.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,Joe Bloggs
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 09:29 AM

I think Rall(entando) means when you get slower quickly, e.g. over a period of only one or two bars, and Rit(enuto) means when you slow down slowly, e.g. over a period of seven or eight bars. I may be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 03:02 PM

This thread was started 11 years ago. No doubt Rachel has resolved the issue, one way or another, since then.

One day I was preparing music for my friends using Noteworthy Composer, and I found myself staring at the special endings. "da capo, al segno," "Fine," and thinking that they reminded me of organized crime.

Suddenly I had an insight. We don't speak Italian! Why am I wasting time decoding this stuff? So I pressed X for text, and at the end of the notes I wrote "back to top." And at the true end of the piece I wrote "End."

In the same spirit, I would not write ritenuto, ritardanto or ralletando. I would write "suddenly slower" or "gradually slower." And those of us who perform in groups are expected to know that this also means "all eyes on the conductor."
========
Spaw, I am interested in your second cousins. Do they have any good Italian recipes to share?


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 05:49 PM

When I did a music course, the tutor said that although the three technically had different meanings, in practice, whatever the composer meant, the conductor or player did not really differentiate in interpreting them and used his or her musical judgement.

As leeneia said above they all mean the same thing: "Watch the conductor". Most conductors I know reckon that's the only proper way to interpret them! :-)

Purcell wrote "drag" at the end of some of his pieces when he wanted the players to slow down. He was clearly a true Englishman and didn't have any truck with all that Italian nonsense :-)


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 06:59 PM

Percy Grainger used English annotations too: "louden lots".


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 07:37 PM

Long time ago I was taught that technically "ritenuto" is a temporary slow down internal to a piece, which should be followed by "a tempo" somewhere later to get you back up to speed. "Ritardando" would be generically slowing down, the opposite being "accelerando." "Rallentando" is supposed to be used for the slowing down (more or less, as in "molto" or "poco") specifically at the end of a piece.
Then you have "allargando" which is slowing down while getting louder, or at perhaps grander, and "calando" which is slowing down while getting softer or more gentle, these last two usually appearing at the end of a piece or perhaps at the beginning of the last section.
Not that anyone really cares... as said above, follow the conductor unless you are the conductor, in which case, do it however you please.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 12 - 09:11 PM

That's good to hear about Purcell and Grainger. I'm not alone.


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Darowyn
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 03:42 AM

According to a literal translation, "Ritenuto" means "Held back", "Ritardando" means "Delaying", an "Rallentando" means "Slowing down".
"Allargando" means "Becoming broader."
There is a general problem with the vocabulary for describing music, whatever language you use.
How would you expect a "phat" tune to sound?
Can you play in a funky way? (literally "smelly")
The other thing that I always think about is that it is common knowledge that a large proportion of the musical 'stage directions' are added at the editing stage by the publisher, so they may have little to do with the composer's intentions anyway.
I suppose you could go for total precision and mark the score:-
"Tempo:-108 BPM, SPL 92 dB@10 metres, +2dB on third beat in the bar,played 10 ms before the regular timing."
There would be more people who would understand the Italian!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Steve Howlett
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 05:16 AM

In the same mode as Percy Grainger, German composers from Schumann onwards tended prefer German expressions such as "zurückhaltend" for "ritenuto". We're rehearsing a piece which includes the direction "sempre più espressivo e pochiss(imo) avanti". Our MD says it means "watch!"


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Subject: RE: Ritenuto, ritardanto and ralletando
From: Marje
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 08:34 AM

Using your native language is no doubt fine if the only people who are going to read your score are speakers of that language. Italian became adopted as the international language of musical instructions so that singers/musicians from any country would only have to learn this limited vocabulary to be able to read scores written by composers from any linguistic background.

Of course, if musical notation were being invented nowadays, the international language of choice would probably be English, but we've rather missed the opportunity for that. I suppose we should be gracious about this - English is already the international language of computers, of tourism, of football, of pop songs, etc etc, so we shouldn't begrudge Italian its dominion in musical notation.

Marje


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