I've seen so many contradictory answers that I still can't figure out whether Dubstep average tempo is 70-75 BPM or 140-150 BPM.

There is a dispute even on this comprehensive list of genres on this very site.

Does anyone have an answer for such a riddle?

  • 1
    You'll note that those two ranges vary by a factor of 2. It's just a matter of how you feel it. Also, this discussion belongs in that thread.
    – MattPutnam
    Sep 26, 2018 at 21:06
  • I think the comments in the List of tempos give a useful perspective. If you consider it to be a Rock beat, then you have snares on 2 and 4 and choose the slower BPM. If you think of the piece as a 2-step, or ohm-Pah ohm-Pah, then choose the doubled speed and have snares on 3. I think the Rock POV makes more sense, but there's no right answer per se. Sep 27, 2018 at 2:01
  • With reference to your username: Down-votes are not political. They represent our opinion that your question is not useful, or not of general interest. The intent is to allow researchers to evaluate Q&A quality based on ratings. Sep 27, 2018 at 12:26
  • @Mattputnam, I'd love to bring such discussion to that thread, but unfortunately I haven't got enough reputation to post comments on questions different from mine Oct 30, 2018 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


It depends on the base unit (which notes "per minute" are counted).

For example, 70 BPM in 2/2 time signature will sound in the same speed as 140 BPM in 4/4 (by "the same speed" I mean the same absolute duration of a note with given length, i.e. melodies written with the same note lengths will sound identically in the terms of speed), since 70 halves are equivalent to 140 quarters.

So, the answer depends on both notation and feeling (which duration is felt as a "beat").

  • Measuring dubstep as a 4/4 genre would be, IMO, inconsistent with the genre definition: dubstep is a halftime genre, with a kick every two bars. Kick pattern frequency is, from my experience, the most common way of judging the tempo of an electronic genre. I don't know whether this belief of mine is correct or not, and I would love to have some feedback about it. Oct 30, 2018 at 7:30

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