I was thinking about the very idea of rubato the other day and was wondering if repeated rubato truly defeats its purpose.

Rubato sufficiently repeated turns into a feature of the rhythm.

I don't have any rigorous musical training, just some self-education in theory, so I was hoping I could get an informed critique of the validity, veracity or even the limitations of such a statement.

Thank you.

  • The first definition to come up for 'rhythm' in google is "a strong, regular repeated pattern of movement or sound" - which doesn't seem like a a bad definition. By that logic, anything repeated would become a feature of the overall rhythm of the piece. I'm wondering why you doubt the validity of the statement, if you do? Nov 28, 2020 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


A rhythm, by definition, is a pattern. If that pattern includes regular rubato, then that becomes part of that pattern.

So yes, it turns into a feature of that rhythm. Could depend, of course, on how regularly it features.


Seems a reasonable comment. One modification is decoration. Modify EVERY time and it becomes 'baked in'.

I don't think there's any deep musical insight required here. It's just a description in plain English.

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