I play Sonata no 3 of Johann Quantz for flute,

in the last part of this sonata, The directive is "un poco vivace ma cantabile".

I understand that the literal meaning of this is:

"A little lively but cantabile"

but I'm not sure what "cantabile" is and in what way should I play it and what does it mean in terms of the tempo of the piece

  • Cantabile means in a singing style.
    – BobRodes
    Aug 9, 2017 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


Push the tempo slightly, but make it sing. Don't rush the piece, just make it sound relaxed but moving, and at the same time keep it singing. Difficult to explain, and maybe difficult to play in that way, but move it along, without making it sound rushed.

  • ok - I'm starting to understand that - if you need to set the tempo on the metronome for this style - Would you set it to 80 bpm? Aug 8, 2017 at 18:44
  • 1
    To be brutal, I would not use a metronome for this.It's too mechanical, and the sort of playing needed comes from inside you, not from a little ticking thing that tells you how fast to play.
    – Tim
    Aug 8, 2017 at 19:05
  • @ErezLieberman You can use a metronome to give you some ideas about tempo, but as Tim says, don't stick religiously to it. A metronome will also tell you if your basic tempo is consistent in different parts of a piece, if you suspect that you are playing one section slower or faster than another without realizing it.
    – BobRodes
    Aug 9, 2017 at 4:33

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