So I tied with another trumpet player for first chair and our director gave us a piece of music to learn to have a face off. This may seem like a dumb question. The tempo is written as

Dotted half note = 62

Quarter note = 186

So am I supposed to play this really fast? Or somewhat slow? I’m having a brain fart right now. Help

  • It's what we would call "medium-up" ;)
    – Judy N.
    Dec 9, 2020 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


It will be pretty zippy. The dotted half-note indication means that three beats together take about one second. The quarter-note marking is the speed of each individual beat. The two marking are given because the piece could be conducted "in 3" (186 bpm) or "in 1" (i.e., conductor gives only the downbeat of each measure -- 62 measures per minute).

  • Ok thanks so much! I kind of figured it was something like that. Dec 9, 2020 at 18:20

Seems like it could be written in 6/4 or 12/4. As such, there's different ways in which to conduct it, or even think about it. 186 bpm for crotchet isn't hanging around, each 'beat' lasting 1/3 of a second. Why not Google the piece and listen to what others may have done with it?

  • 2
    (just to note neither of the time signatures you've given have a crotchet as a princple subdivision; more likely it is 3/4 or 6/4)
    – Judy N.
    Dec 9, 2020 at 20:02

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