Steve Schwartz wrote:
>May I suggest that there are two types of rests (Ger. Pause; Fr. silence)
>- exact and inexact? Exact rests must be strictly observed, inexacts not.
>Much of it has to do with keeping the overall pulse of the music. Hence,
>a rest at the end of a piece or between sections is often not given its
>full duration, with little harm done. Needless to say (but I'll probably
>have to say it anyway, so why not now?), there are also rests that occur
>in such contexts that should be fully observed. Performers must actually
>think about it, rather than simply follow.
Mr. Schwartz may "suggest" that there are two kinds of rests but that
doesn't make it so. A rest is a rest is a rest. And to ignore, shorten,
lengthen (in context) any rest is the same as treating notes the same way.
Rests at the end of a piece are there to "finish" the final measure from a
counting, mathematical or technical aspect. Take Brahms' "Variations on a
Theme by Joseph Haydn". The opening Choral (after several [essential]
repeats, incidentally) end in a full measure rest to the entire orchestra
-- except the cellos and bouble basses. These have a single quarter not
--- followed, of course, by a quarter REST. That makes it all "end" at the
same time from a technical aspect. (I use this particular example since it
is open on my desk at the moment.)
This is no "rest" between the choral and the first variation not between
the variations themselves. If a composer wants there to be very little or
no "pause" between distinctive sections or movements, he will usually
signify this with the term "attacca" which means "move on immediately".