Muzoracle: The Tarot of Music

Ritardando

Slow down.


In music, a ritardando indicates a decrease in speed. The number of bars over which this decrease takes place is indicated by an ellipsis, just as with an accelerando. Where the accelerando tends to be steady, measured, and longish, however, the ritardando tends to be shorter and more dramatic, as if it’s slowing down to make a point.

Ritardando is a Directive card, directing the querent to slow things, or themselves, down. It can also indicate things grinding to as if to a halt, or an increasing lethargy: suddenly, one is wading through deep mud. Or there may be a beneficial slowing, an easing into a more manageable pace.

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