Can the expression "uptempo music" be used as a synonym for "upbeat music"? Please note that I'm not referring to the music theory meaning of the term upbeat (the beat preceding a bar), but rather the term used by music critics todesribe the general mood/feel of a tune. SO, ultimately, is the following correct: ubeat:downbeat=uptempo:downtempo?

ps: the meaning of upbeat(solely) was already discussed here: What is "Upbeat Music"?

  • 2
    Upbeat is usually the beat before the first beat of the bar... – Tim May 31 '18 at 22:35
  • yeah sry i was so concentrated on the rest of the question that i inverted the two. – cloverblack Jun 1 '18 at 6:27

I wouldn't consider them synonymous.

Upbeat, other than the strictly musical definition of the last beat of the bar, is an expression of positive sentiment & is not exclusively used to describe music. e.g. this definition & these synonyms.

Up-tempo music, on the other hand, describes a fast tempo. It may also imply positive mood (can't find the example i saw of this implication the i saw this week, damn!), but generally not. e.g. this definition

[added] Now, as for your identity relation: i don't think that hold either. According to a quick bit of research that i did:

  • downtempo & downbeat refer to a style of ambient music;
  • downbeat is the first beat of the bar (as you already observed), & by analogy it also applies to the beginning of a rehearsal or performance;
  • downbeat is the opposite of upbeat in the sense of meaning a negative mood as opposed to the positive upbeat mood.

So while upbeat & downbeat are opposites in terms of mood (positive/negative) & complements in terms of positions in the bar (last/first), uptempo & downtempo don't seem to have a similar relationship. Further, while the words downbeat & downtempo refer to a style of ambient electronica, they are not interchangeable in any other use.

In summary: upbeat & uptempo are not synonyms; downbeat & downtempo are both names for a style of music; upbeat mood is the opposite of downbeat mood; uptempo & downtempo aren't really antonyms as the former is a general description & the latter is a specific style.

  • And how about their anthynonyms? – cloverblack Jun 12 '18 at 17:18
  • @cloverblack -- added a discussion of antonyms. You might also want to look at the English Language & Usage for answers to this language question, or even ask it there, too. – Dean Ransevycz Jun 13 '18 at 1:50

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