This chapter discusses changing approaches to tempo modification. Types of tempo modification are described, two basic categories being identified: first, changes of speed within a piece, such as arbitrary accelerando or rallentando (where no changes of speed are marked by the composer); and secondly, modification by means of redistributing note values within a fundamentally constant tempo. The second type of tempo modification, often referred to by theorists as tempo rubato, was a pervasive element in Classical and Romantic performance; this is illustrated from the writings of theorists, critical writings and the evidence of composers' scores. The use of the messa die voce sign (<>), as an indication of expressive lingering, is discussed. A more specialized use of the term tempo rubato as an arthythmical embellishment is discussed in relation to C. P. E. Bach, Dussek, and Chopin.
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