The question is - does accelerando used in parts with different tempo? How to rhythmically align them after that / during that? (Without accelerando it would be enough to keep parts tempo at some fixed ratio)

For example:

   S1 :  e - e - e - e - e - e - e 

        [accel from 60 to 120 bpm] 
   S2 :  q  -  q  -  q  -  q 

         t0                t1=??

where S1,S2 - stave 1,2; e - eight note; q - quarter

How to properly calculate start time and duration time of each beat during accelerando? [It is not that important if song have only one tempo, because all beats will have same timings regardless of how we calculate accelerando]

  • 1
    I have no idea what you're asking here. Can you clarify?
    – Ben I.
    May 10, 2018 at 12:06
  • @BenI. I'm asking, does accelerando used in poly-tempo music?
    – tower120
    May 10, 2018 at 12:10
  • 2
    I think the confusion comes from some odd grammar: are you asking "does accelerando GET used in poly-tempo" or are you asking HOW it is used? Or are you just asking for proper notation? May 10, 2018 at 13:17
  • @PatMuchmore At first "does accelerando GET used in poly-tempo", at second "HOW it is used". Also I wonder - is it possible to somehow synchronize staves in different tempo AFTER accelerando in only one of them?
    – tower120
    May 10, 2018 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


Yes, composers who write poly-tempo music may well ask for independent tempo changes, sudden or gradual. Yes, in live performance, it will be impossible to conduct, and the players will find it tricky to get everything ending at the same time! But they'll manage, somehow. Sometimes, in my experience, by cheating. But as, in this sort of music, the concept tends to be more important than what it actually SOUNDS like, it probably doesn't matter.

  • I'm reading Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars" now. She writing about switching from score's tempo to part's own tempo and back (parts have pieces in their own tempo, but then they sync back to common tempo) [example around p.614 if you have one]. Part's tempos in her examples are at ratios with score tempo. The question is - is it possible somehow to back to common score tempo (synchronize) after part's accelerando? May be there is some special symbol, which marks - wait/sustain for beat at other stave (like dotted bar between staves, at sync point)?
    – tower120
    May 11, 2018 at 10:50
  • Just stop doing whatever notation you had contrived to show the un-synchronised section and go back to normal notation with shared barlines.
    – Laurence
    May 11, 2018 at 15:12

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