Rallentando (Italian: becoming slower) is a direction
to a performer to play gradually slower.
Recitative is used in vocal works, particularly opera
and oratorio, usually for a solo voice, in relatively free rhythm. In this
respect recitative is distinct from the formal aria. Recitative might be
accompanied by basso continuo, harpsichord or other chordal instruments
and a bass instrument (recitativo secco or dry recitative), or accompanied
by a larger number of instruments (recitativo accompagnato, accompanied
recitative). Recitative is often used for narrative or for the forwarding
of the plot in opera.
The recorder (= German: Blockflste; French: fléte
á bec; Italian: flauto dolce), the straight flute, exists in a variety
of sizes, the principal of which are the descant or soprano, the treble
or alto, the tenor and the bass, the first and third of which have a range
upwards from C and the second and fourth of which have a range upwards
from F, with similar fingering. Other sizes of recorder include the smallest,
the sopranino, an octave higher than the treble and the great bass, an
octave lower than the tenor. An even larger family of recorders existed
in the later 16th century. The earlier recorder was used in consort music,
while it was used rather as a solo instrument in music in the later 17th
and early 18th centuries, with sonatas for the instrument by Handel and
solo parts in the second and fourth of the Brandenburg Concertos of Johann
Sebastian Bach. The revival of the instrument in the 20th century has led
to a number of new solo works for recorder.
Reeds, made either from traditional material or from
plastic or metal, are used to produce a musical sound from their vibration
by means of an air column. The clarinet uses a single reed, fastened to
a hollow mouthpiece, while the oboe and bassoon use a double reed, one
side vibrating against the other. The reed-pipes of the organ are generally
made of metal, with a thin vibrating tongue to produce the sound. Similar
laminae are used in the mouth-organ and harmonica. Some instruments, like
the bagpipes or the crumhorn, use covered double reeds, set inside an air
The register of a voice or instrument is a distinct
part of its range. The clarinet, for example, has a distinctive lower register
known, from the origin of the instrument, as the chalumeau register, and
an upper register of more flute-like timbre.
Registration is the choice of stops used by an organist
or harpsichordist, a much more elaborate matter for the former.
The Catholic Mass for the Dead opens with the words
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine (Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord),
leading to the use of the word Requiem for the Mass for the Dead. Important
settings of the Requiem include that by Mozart and the large scale settings
of the Requiem by Berlioz and by Verdi. Brahms set a collection of Lutheran
texts to form his German Requiem, while Fauré set a liturgical text
that used parts of the burial service.
tone that resembles a suspension but
resolves in an upward motion. Both suspensions and retardation are
most common at cadences.
The title rhapsody (= French: rapsodie) came into
general use in music of the mid-19th century, notably with the Hungarian
Rhapsodies of Liszt. It implies a work free in form and inspiration, often
an expression of national temperament, as in the Slavonic Rhapsodies of
Dvorák and the Rapsodie espagnole of Ravel.
Rhythm, an essential element in music in one way
or another, is the arrangement of notes according to their relative duration
and relative accentuation.
As its name implies, is the repetition of a rhythmic
pattern. Unlike pitch stasis, however,
rhythmic stasis often give impetus and drive to a composition. Consequently,
it is not found at cadences but rather at climactic points in a composition.
The French folk-dance, the rigaudon, is occasionally
found in instrumental dance suites of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was
normally in a brisk duple metre.
Ritardando (Italian: becoming slower) abbreviated
often to rit., is often used as a direction to players.
Ritenuto (Italian: held back) directs a player to
slow down at once.
The ritornello, a recurrent phrase or passage, is
a feature of baroque form, where an aria may be punctuated by re-appearances
of a short instrumental phrase. It became a frequent element in baroque
solo concertos by composers such as Vivaldi, and works with operatic connotations.
Rococo, a term borrowed, as are so many other terms
in musicology, from architecture and the visual arts, is used in particular
to describe the light decorative French style as found in the work of Couperin
and Rameau in the first half of the 18th century.
Romanticism in cultural history is a word that defies
precise definition. In music it is most commonly applied to a period or
the predominant features of that period, from the early 19th century until
the early 20th. Features of romanticism in music include an attention to
feeling rather than to formal symmetry, expressed in a freer use of traditional
forms, an expansion of the instrumental resources of music and an extension
of harmonic language. Music also reflected other preoccupations, influenced
particularly by the arts of literature and painting, and their preoccupation
with the remote and exotic, whether historical or geographical, or both.
Early German romantic opera, for example, is found in Weber's "Der Freischütz",
with its plot involving woodmen and huntsmen and the mysterious midnight
magic of the forest.
Rondo (= French: rondeau) form involves the use of
a recurrent theme between a series of varied episodes, often used for the
rapid final movement of a classical concerto or symphony.
Rubato, (Italian: stolen), is a direction to allow
a player a measure of freedom in performance. The phrase tempo rubato is