The rate of the beats in a passage of music, sometimes expressed in metronome beats per minute (BPM) and sometimes by the Italian system of names

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
3answers
5k views

What tempo is Agitato?

I'm looking at Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor and notice that the tempo changes from Lento to Agitato. I'm familiar with the former tempo marking, but not the latter. At what tempo should Agitato ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

Projecting “Playing ahead/behind/on the beat ” onto tangible concepts

I was trying to tell to my fellow drummer friend, that he should play something behind the beat so that we can experiment some particular song. But then I realized that I have no idea how to translate ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

countering the “softer = slower” problem?

My choir has a consistent tendency -- absent a metrenome or vigorous conducting -- to slow down for quieter dynamics (and then never regain the original pace). We have several individuals with good ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Shortening a long note: intended or not?

I noticed that in many performances, chords that are expected by the author to have a long duration, are shortened by the performer. An example is the fourth Ballade of Chopin, where, near the end, ...
4
votes
2answers
296 views

Does “extremely slow” mean also “extremely difficult”?

I am playing some works by Olivier Messiaen. Some of them are “extremely slow, extatic”, or “infinitely slow”. Examples: “Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus” (Quatuor pour la fin du temps), cello and ...