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(rit.) ritardando


Ritardando written in piano music.

A ritardando lasts the length of its dotted line.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: Ritardando (or rit.) is an indication to gradually decrease the tempo of the music (opposite of accelerando).

The length of a ritardando is extended by a dashed, horizontal line; and, if applicable, the previous tempo may be restored with the commands tempo primo or a tempo.
  • The abbreviation rit. is sometimes used for ritenuto; ritenuto is often abbreviated to riten. to avoid confusion.

Also Known As: Pronunciation: rih'-tar-DAHN-doh

More Tempo Terms:

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