I'm writing a piece of electronic music on a Digital Audio Workstation. I'm not sure what you would call the genre - trance, ambient, maybe even electronic jazz. It starts off slow and reflective at about 70 BPM. But after 8 measures I speed it up to 140 and add in a lot of percussion and effects. I don't change the key (f minor). It sounds okay to me but I may be prejudiced 8-).

My question is, are there things I should do to make the transition smooth and not too abrupt sounding to The Listener? One thing I did in this one is in the last measure of the slow part I started introducing shorter notes - it had been mostly quarter notes and half notes but near the end I started introducing eighth notes and even some 16th notes. That seemed to help but are there other things that are done in these situations, for example in chord structure or phrase construction? In some songs I've heard people put in faster percussion during the end of the slow part, often with a rising pitch, to hint to The Listener that it's about to change.

2 Answers 2


So, if you think of it this way, 140bpm is 70bpm doubled. So, rather than changing the tempo to something like 116 from 70, all you're doing is doubling the speed of the tempo, literally. In terms of musicality, reflect this through instrumentation and space. You can hear, specifically, that Electronic (EDM) tracks reflect a bpm change to double its original bpm through open space, fast-paced drum fills, risers/down-lifters, etc. I don't particularly make EDM-type music, though I love it, but I will say since all you're doing is doubling the original bpm, that change shouldn't necessarily be abrupt since the meter is staying the same, as long as you make artistic (intentional) instrumentation-based choices to reflect the speeding up of the track.


70 to 140 is a simple doubling of tempo. Just like you'd kept at 70 but decided to use shorter notes. The underlying beat stays the same, so if the 'dance' element of EDM is important, your audience shouldn't be thrown too much!

The two tempos will slot together just fine. And surely you have no reason to obscure the fact that you're revving it up? Just do it. Contrast is good.

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