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 (ro͞o-bä′tō) Music
n. pl. ru·ba·tos
Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure; a relaxation of strict time.
Containing or characterized by rubato.

[Italian (tempo) rubato, stolen (time), rubato, past participle of rubare, to rob, of Germanic origin; see reup- in Indo-European roots.]


(ruːˈbɑːtəʊ) music
n, pl -tos
(Classical Music) flexibility of tempo in performance
adj, adv
(Classical Music) to be played with a flexible tempo
[C19: from the Italian phrase tempo rubato, literally: stolen time, from rubare to rob]


(ruˈbɑ toʊ)

adj., n., pl. -tos, -ti (-tē). Music. adj.
1. having certain notes arbitrarily lengthened while others are correspondingly shortened, or vice versa.
2. a rubato phrase or passage.
[1880–85; < Italian (tempo) rubato stolen (time), past participle of rubare to steal < Germanic]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rubato - a flexible tempo; not strictly on the beat
pacing, tempo - (music) the speed at which a composition is to be played
References in periodicals archive ?
La verdad es que una figura como Mintz rebasa toda posibilidad de descripcion que no sea puramente tecnica, es decir, se tendria uno que circunscribir al arido lenguaje de, en el mejor de los casos, relentandos, rubatos, acellerandos, cadenzas, etc.
Although respecting the fact that they are "utility" works and playing them with a splendid rhythmic push-off, the pianist could not resist imbuing them with a pinch of "something additional", through occasional, almost imperceptible rubatos and gentle keystroke nuances.
His pupil Friederike Streicher wrote in her diary that Chopin "required adherence to the strictest rhythm, hated all lingering and dragging, misplaced rubatos as well as exaggerated ritardandos.
The Sinfonia gave a lively performance with excellent timing, particularly on the rubatos of the first movement.
Puccini is a master of atmosphere, knowing exactly how to bolster emotions with all the tricks of a composer's trade: clever key changes, lovely orchestral solos, subtle pauses, rubatos.
You'll find no frenzied tempos or unusual rubatos here, nor any dry, scholarly interpretations, either; just sweet, easeful tunes.
And if, following this suggestion, we conclude that Chopin's marked rubatos are hints rather than precise orders, is it of great importance that some performers make less of the places so marked than of other similarly expressive moments?
The Zemlinsky Quartet play the second movement as a high-spirited polka, including the graceful rubatos and the theme's dance-like starting in the cello.
Soloist Rimma Suhanskaya certainly knew the notes, but was somewhat wayward with worrying quasi rubatos.
The Zemlinsky Quartet play the second movement like a really high-spirited polka with lovely rubatos and a dance-like starting of the theme in the cello.
Curious overblown rubatos could not detract from fine woodwind playing and superb solo horn, with forwardfacing cellos contributing dark resonances.
The album contains so many forcible and gracious passages that it is impossible to list them all here, but I must at least mention the rubatos in the introduction to the 1st and 8th dances, the witty and spirited cadence in the 4th dance of Op.