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What I mean by that is that, I can always play this bar faster by adding a notation like pianissimo or a fortissimo above the bar.

Almost. Pianissimo and fortissimo are dynamics. They relate to the loudness (also called "intensity") of the music. But there are other words to use for speed. You could use schneller, for instance, which is German for "fastersimply write "faster" or "slower." Langsamer ("slower") would be the opposite. There are all kinds of ways to write this, and in a few different languages; those are just two possibilitieslanguages.

There isn't a standard tempo per se, but I'd say if you took a sample of the population and just said "pick a normal tempo," it'd be somewhere between 86 and 120 bpm. (This is a rough guess; Justin London's book "Hearing in Time" has some more specific research on things like this.)

But this can always be played EXACTLY as the 4/4 with just change in the tempo in my bar denoted by a semi-crotchet = 80 right?

Exactly right. You could also write quarter note = 40 for the 4/8 bar, which is the same thing. Since there are two eighths in a quarter, the quarter note tempo will have half as slow (40) as the eighth note tempo (80).

My understanding so far has been that 4/8 is faster because it is probably assumed that a crotchet is conventionally always at 80 tempo (unless mentioned) and hence a semi-crotchet is played at 40 tempo as convention and hence the bar is played much faster.

Hmm. The issue is that there are a lot of historical issues that come into play with this. If a composer uses a 4/8 time signature, it was probably for a specific reason. An informed, learned musician would have a fair amount of background experience that would go into the tempo decision, whether or not the tempo is actually written in the score.

But your final summary is correct! It only leads to one question: in a real score, would you want to switch tempos and time signatures, or just stay in 4/4 for both bars?

It's exciting to see your enthusiasm just starting out; keep it up!

What I mean by that is that, I can always play this bar faster by adding a notation like pianissimo or a fortissimo above the bar.

Almost. Pianissimo and fortissimo are dynamics. They relate to the loudness (also called "intensity") of the music. But there are other words to use for speed. You could use schneller, for instance, which is German for "faster." Langsamer ("slower") would be the opposite. There are all kinds of ways to write this, and in a few different languages; those are just two possibilities.

There isn't a standard tempo per se, but I'd say if you took a sample of the population and just said "pick a normal tempo," it'd be somewhere between 86 and 120 bpm. (This is a rough guess; Justin London's book "Hearing in Time" has some more specific research on things like this.)

But this can always be played EXACTLY as the 4/4 with just change in the tempo in my bar denoted by a semi-crotchet = 80 right?

Exactly right. You could also write quarter note = 40 for the 4/8 bar, which is the same thing. Since there are two eighths in a quarter, the quarter note tempo will have half as slow (40) as the eighth note tempo (80).

My understanding so far has been that 4/8 is faster because it is probably assumed that a crotchet is conventionally always at 80 tempo (unless mentioned) and hence a semi-crotchet is played at 40 tempo as convention and hence the bar is played much faster.

Hmm. The issue is that there are a lot of historical issues that come into play with this. If a composer uses a 4/8 time signature, it was probably for a specific reason. An informed, learned musician would have a fair amount of background experience that would go into the tempo decision, whether or not the tempo is actually written in the score.

But your final summary is correct! It only leads to one question: in a real score, would you want to switch tempos and time signatures, or just stay in 4/4 for both bars?

It's exciting to see your enthusiasm just starting out; keep it up!

What I mean by that is that, I can always play this bar faster by adding a notation like pianissimo or a fortissimo above the bar.

Almost. Pianissimo and fortissimo are dynamics. They relate to the loudness (also called "intensity") of the music. But there are other words to use for speed. You could simply write "faster" or "slower." There are all kinds of ways to write this, and in a few different languages.

There isn't a standard tempo per se, but I'd say if you took a sample of the population and just said "pick a normal tempo," it'd be somewhere between 86 and 120 bpm. (This is a rough guess; Justin London's book "Hearing in Time" has some more specific research on things like this.)

But this can always be played EXACTLY as the 4/4 with just change in the tempo in my bar denoted by a semi-crotchet = 80 right?

Exactly right. You could also write quarter note = 40 for the 4/8 bar, which is the same thing. Since there are two eighths in a quarter, the quarter note tempo will have half as slow (40) as the eighth note tempo (80).

My understanding so far has been that 4/8 is faster because it is probably assumed that a crotchet is conventionally always at 80 tempo (unless mentioned) and hence a semi-crotchet is played at 40 tempo as convention and hence the bar is played much faster.

Hmm. The issue is that there are a lot of historical issues that come into play with this. If a composer uses a 4/8 time signature, it was probably for a specific reason. An informed, learned musician would have a fair amount of background experience that would go into the tempo decision, whether or not the tempo is actually written in the score.

But your final summary is correct! It only leads to one question: in a real score, would you want to switch tempos and time signatures, or just stay in 4/4 for both bars?

It's exciting to see your enthusiasm just starting out; keep it up!

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What I mean by that is that, I can always play this bar faster by adding a notation like pianissimo or a fortissimo above the bar.

Almost. Pianissimo and fortissimo are dynamics. They relate to the loudness (also called "intensity") of the music. But there are other words to use for speed. You could use schneller, for instance, which is German for "faster." Langsamer ("slower") would be the opposite. There are all kinds of ways to write this, and in a few different languages; those are just two possibilities.

There isn't a standard tempo per se, but I'd say if you took a sample of the population and just said "pick a normal tempo," it'd be somewhere between 86 and 120 bpm. (This is a rough guess; Justin London's book "Hearing in Time" has some more specific research on things like this.)

But this can always be played EXACTLY as the 4/4 with just change in the tempo in my bar denoted by a semi-crotchet = 80 right?

Exactly right. You could also write quarter note = 40 for the 4/8 bar, which is the same thing. Since there are two eighths in a quarter, the quarter note tempo will have half as slow (40) as the eighth note tempo (80).

My understanding so far has been that 4/8 is faster because it is probably assumed that a crotchet is conventionally always at 80 tempo (unless mentioned) and hence a semi-crotchet is played at 40 tempo as convention and hence the bar is played much faster.

Hmm. The issue is that there are a lot of historical issues that come into play with this. If a composer uses a 4/8 time signature, it was probably for a specific reason. An informed, learned musician would have a fair amount of background experience that would go into the tempo decision, whether or not the tempo is actually written in the score.

But your final summary is correct! It only leads to one question: in a real score, would you want to switch tempos and time signatures, or just stay in 4/4 for both bars?

It's exciting to see your enthusiasm just starting out; keep it up!