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Rallentando and Ritardando

Targa

Among the pigeons
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My dictionary defines rallentando as 'becoming slower' and ritardando as 'with diminishing speed'.
What's the musical difference or are they synonyms.
 

Col9

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58
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Northants, UK
We play them as "rit" which is instantly slower where marked like a step, and "ral" which starts to slow where marked like a gradient.

Tricky to get it right while reading the music in one eye and watching conductor in the other ;}

Col.
 
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