Definition of ritardando in English:


Syllabification: ri·tar·dan·do
Pronunciation: /ˌrētärˈdändō
(also ritard /riˈtärd/) Music

adverb& adjective

(Especially as a direction) with a gradual decrease of tempo.
More example sentences
  • No deviations from this basic pulse are indicated - no accelerando or ritardando - but the avoidance of repeated rhythmic patterns prevents the emergence of any phrase-structure comparable to Schumann's.
  • When the trumpets entered, their ascending phrase was ritardando to a degree, allowing a gradual and more dramatic crescendo too.

noun (plural ritardandos or ritardandi /-ˈdändē/)

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A gradual decrease in tempo.
More example sentences
  • It is sometimes a bit too easy and didactic to consistently underline such things as radical modulations or harmonic shifts, by means of accentuation, rhetorical pauses, ritardandos, etc.
  • He knew exactly where the accelerations and ritardandos should be, and when the lilt was most important.
  • At that time, detailed research into historical performance practice was still limited, which accounts for the massive final ritardandi and other features which would now be questioned.



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