I am studying a piece, the time signature is 12/8.

The tempo indication is "Allegretto, (quarter_note) = 76". I am a bit baffled, as I expected a dotted quarter note.

Is this a typo? Or is this accepted notation? And if the latter: should I set my metronome to 76 or, uhhh, a third slower (50)?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you would expect a dotted quarter beat. If it's a printed copy from an established publisher, I'd say it's a misprint. If a computer-printed score from an amateur, I'd suspect ignorance!

But 50bpm is too slow for alegretto. It's a misprint.

  • Why questioners accept answers but don't upvote is something i never understood, good answer btw.
    – Neil Meyer
    Aug 25, 2017 at 15:31
  • I see "quarter note = " notation for compound meters (e.g. 12/8, 9/8) all the time in Musescore, mainly because that's the default tempo indication you can put on a score.
    – Dekkadeci
    Aug 26, 2017 at 13:19
  • Yup. Musescore is great for the price, but lacks many refinements. And its users are often inexperienced.
    – Laurence
    Aug 26, 2017 at 14:03

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