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If one plays (or even listens to) music at different venues, it becomes clear that different venues require different tempi. Sometimes it's a bit drastic; (what used to be will again be) Notre Dame vs a small, wooden floored jazz club. It has a lot to do with how tones reverberate. Different frequencies reverberate differently from wood floors, walls, people,...


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Changing tempi is part of good performance practice, in my opinion. As noted above, we do it less in earlier than in more recent music. But I can't imagine that a player or singer in Bach's day would have resisted imparting a bit of give and take on notes he or she found particularly engaging. No one disputes a certain "allowable" range of base tempi for a ...


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I think it depends very much on the genre, style, and period of the music. For some styles, heavy use of rubato is normal and suits the way the music is written, while for others it would spoil the piece.  (Think how bad a rock song would sound if the drummer kept varying the tempo!)  Even within Western classical music, rubato is much more common (and ...


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Some metric flexibility in certain pieces can make them heartstoppingly effective. The best way for you to convince yourself of this is to listen to some recordings. I will suggest two: Brahms Sonata for Cello and Piano in E minor, 2nd Movement. Contrast the Rostropovich & Serkin recording, which has quite has a quite subtle give and take with the ...


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ask your audience. if they think it sounds good, then it is good. but just cuz you think it's expressive doesn't mean your audience will like it. "this guy keeps speeding up and slowing down for no good reason and the lyrics in my head aren't matching up - he sucks"...


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As Lawrence said, you are describing "Rubato". My professor in college recommended playing the piece first at a more "rigid" tempo and then using your own discretion. You want rubato to feel tasteful enough so that a professional listening in the audience could dictate the rhythm you played without seeing it. In general, a solo will have more rubato and ...


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It's not bad per se, but it's dangerous. Making this a habit will impair your ability to play with others. As an expressive device, varying the tempo can be distracting. (That's why it's notated more rarely than varying the dynamics.) The exception that proves the rule here is instruments that can't vary dynamics. When one famous harpsichordist "held on ...


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Depends. Some people use 'expressive rubato' as an excuse for bad time-keeping. In particular an excuse for playing the tricky bits slower than the easy bits! Flexible time is probably a bad idea in a rhythmic groove-based song. It's almost required in an operatic aria though. The fact that sometimes a metronome isn't appropriate doesn't make ...


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Clementi was famous for his technique (octave trills in one hand, for example — how does anyone do that?), and I feel quite sure that his abilities would have outstripped the limitations of some of the pianos that he played on. My feeling is that there are certainly times that you have to slow down fast pieces to accommodate the instrument you're playing on. ...


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There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to play the Clementi on any piano that "works" at all. Clementi was Italian by birth, and Presto in Italian just means "fast". It doesn't mean "the fastest speed that you can just about play the notes without crashing out." In fact Mozart made the put-down comment that "Clementi is a charlatan, like all Italians....


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If you are interested in more information on this, check out Charles Rosen's book, "Piano Notes". In short, in conjunction with a local provider, concert pianists pick a piano to play at the venue where they will be performing and the piano technician adjusts the piano to the liking of the performer. I have played pianos that are generally "in good ...


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