I just wanted to ask why some songs have slow vocals but high BPM? When you have a high bpm, doesnt that mean you need to sing faster?

Example: Illenium - Fractures has a bpm at 160 but the vocals feels slow.

  • You can compensate for tempo using note length. e.g. Bach wrote some pieces with low BPMs filled with 16th and 32nd notes. On the other hand you could write pieces with high BPMs filled with half and whole notes. I'd say that you first choose your time signature, which governs your notation, including note length. In pieces where it makes no difference whether you have 4 measures each with a whole note or one measure with 4 quarter notes and compensate with 1/4 the BPM, you'd base it on what else you want to have going on in the measure. The lead voice would work out the same either way. – Luke Sawczak Sep 25 '18 at 13:45

Here's the song.

I thought I was going to hear something with REALLY long notes in the vocal! But it's just a standard sort of pop song with a fairly busy beat in the backing (hence the high BPM) and medium length notes in the vocal.

BPM is the speed of the underlying beat. Some instruments play rhythms that fit many notes into a beat. It's quite normal for the vocals to have notes that last for several beats.

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  • If you define beats so as to get 160 bpm, that might well suit the busy rhythm section. But if you define beats so that there's a chord change every 4 beats, then your beats are twice as long as that, and you get 80 bpm. – Rosie F Sep 25 '18 at 12:27

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