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

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10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the importance of tempo and time-signatures?

I would like to ask what is the importance of tempo and time-signatures. By this I mean, aren't tempo and time-signatures all interchangeable. For example, a 4/8 60 BPM can be also described as 4/4 ...
3
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo?

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo? Mainly time-signature and tempo. Tempo is beats-per-minute I know, but does the time-signature affect it? For example, in a 120bpm ...
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 ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

How useful is a metronome for playing the piano?

I've been learning to play the piano for over a year and a half now, and have never used a metronome to date. My rythm and tempo are usually decent, at least after playing the piece properly a few ...
3
votes
2answers
120 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
298 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 ...