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Thread: Writing for rubato

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Writing for rubato

    I've written a piece of music on piano, and would love to be able to write it out for a string quartet, or quintet of some sort (if anyone could tell me what's in a string quintet I'd be much obliged.) The only problem is that this piece has rubato feel. That is to say, the melody has rubato feel, and the accompaniment follows the melody. How would I go about notating this so that everything is still in sync?

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Twickenham, UK
    IMO, as long as you indicate "rubato" on the music, you have to rely on the group to follow each other. A reasonably experienced quintet would know to follow the leader (violin) by signal. They could not be absolutely in sync, if the tempo really was variable, but with enough rehearsal it would sound fine. Minimal signals from the leader should be enough to keep the others sufficiently in line.
    I do know that in vocal pieces, a common sign is "colla voce", meaning follow the (ad lib) vocal phrasing. I don't know if there's an equivalent for instrumental music. (In any case, that doesn't allow for exact synchronisation: the vocalist leads and the accompanist(s) follow.)

    A string quintet line-up can vary -
    - so the combination is up to you.
    Last edited by JonR; 08-09-2010 at 08:22 AM.

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