I'm learning a song with a tempo of 170, and midway through it, this happens: enter image description here

How do you adjust to a drastic change in tempo? Practice? But then will it throw off my rythm?

  • 4
    What score is this from? It's possible this is just an attempt to make a digital score (and its MIDI performance) create a believable ritardando, and what's really implied is just a slow down in the first two measures and a return to the original tempo in m. 61.
    – Richard
    Jun 24, 2020 at 1:39
  • @Richard, It's from Waltz No. 2. There are other versions of it, but this is the best one I could find. Jun 24, 2020 at 2:51
  • I think there should be an average fermata followed by a long one instead of the tempo change. Jun 24, 2020 at 5:45
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    @TheNuckster - Do you mean the Shostakovich Waltz No. 2, or maybe some more obscure one like a Schubert or Brahms Waltz No. 2? Regardless, I don't think those tempo markings would be in a professional publisher's edition of that waltz.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jun 24, 2020 at 8:31
  • Buy some sheet music printed on actual paper by a real music publisher. I think you'll find those tempo marks absent. But in case they are not, the way you change tempo is ... you just change it. It's meant to be a discontinuity in the meter.
    – phoog
    Jun 24, 2020 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Don't take the numbers as gospel. It's just a slow down before picking up the original tempo again. A fermata in the trade!

I doubt the rall. will be the same every time, and that's not the important part. If it's just you playing, then slow down, and pick up again on bar 61.

  • 1
    I would strongly recommend the OP grab a couple other editions of whatever piece this is and see how they are marked. This example is absurdly weird. Jun 24, 2020 at 12:57
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    @CarlWitthoft - yup! This seems like an 'up-to-date' computer generated version. They're only as good as the inputter - at best.
    – Tim
    Jun 24, 2020 at 13:07
  • Music is not about Numeric Figures :P Jun 26, 2020 at 12:55
  • @RishiNandha_M - that's nowhere near true. We use numbers to label just about everything musical. We even start songs 1,2,1,2,3,4...
    – Tim
    Jun 26, 2020 at 13:43
  • Oh didn't mean it that way. Math and Music have intertwinings far more than visible at a topview. What I mean't was something like we don't do something like Sheet Music : "play(120bpm,sonata in C);" and we play at 120bpm exactly with no reference from anywhere. Jun 26, 2020 at 15:50

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