Questions tagged [tempo]

The rate of the beats in a passage of music, sometimes expressed in metronome beats per minute (BPM) and sometimes by the Italian system of names

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46
votes
2answers
625k views

List of average genre tempo (BPM) levels?

I've been told before that a genre such as drum and bass averages a BPM of 160-180, whereas dubstep is around 140 BPM and hip-hop is around 115 BPM. Does anyone know where I can get a list of popular ...
32
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9answers
17k views

Do musicians count the meter all the time?

When I started as a beginner on the piano I just timed the notes by feeling. That is, until my teacher played back a recording of me to show me just how messed up my timings were. Since then I've ...
30
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10answers
8k views

Why are measures (aka "bars") important?

Just as an example, let's say we have 60 BPM. So every second there's a beat. Imagine nodding your head every second to this rhythm. Now isn't that enough information to make a song? If I have a ...
24
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7answers
852 views

Is there any way for my to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing

When I'm playing my flute I sound fine, but when I listen to a recording I sound terrible. Is there any way for me to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing, I want to be ...
23
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7answers
6k views

Is it true that cut time means "play twice as fast as written"?

I was just reading an e-book and saw this sentence which really confused me: "Played twice as fast as written" - This isn't what cut time actually means right, or are there situations where cut time ...
22
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9answers
4k views

Why would a teacher ban the metronome altogether?

So when I was a kid I had this piano teacher who was completely against even owning a metronome. He was adamant that using a metronome to practice was a bad habit and insisted that pupils always ...
21
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5answers
8k views

What is the term for a song without a tempo?

I have a song that is just acoustic guitar/vocals/and cello and I don't want to give it a tempo because I enjoy the way it sounds just played at the tempo of whatever emotion I have or venue I'm ...
20
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7answers
3k views

Speed of playing notes in different octaves

Is it common for pieces to have lower notes played slower? Do instruments with lower registers typically play slower? I ask because notes in lower octaves are closer together in frequency. For ...
19
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5answers
82k views

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo?

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo? Mainly time-signature and tempo. Tempo is beats-per-minute I know, but does the time-signature affect it? For example, in a 120bpm ...
18
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11answers
7k views

How useful is a metronome for playing the piano?

I've been learning to play the piano for over a year and a half now, and have never used a metronome to date. My rythm and tempo are usually decent, at least after playing the piece properly a few ...
18
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3answers
10k views

What is "Tempo 1"?

I've seen adagio, and other names, but I see in classical score that indicates "Tempo 1" in section C. What does it mean?
17
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4answers
28k views

What tempo is Agitato?

I'm looking at Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor and notice that the tempo changes from Lento to Agitato. I'm familiar with the former tempo marking, but not the latter. At what tempo should Agitato ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is a consistent rhythm and tempo such a vitally important component of modern music?

When performing music solo on guitar (and singing) for an audience, I have noticed that the audience is very tolerant when I miss a chord or mess up a lick. Often they don't even notice. But if I ...
16
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2answers
511 views

How do I interpret two notes in a tempo marking?

Is this the same tempo as (quarter note) = 90, or is it (half note) = 90? I know what tempo this is because of the marking next to the bar number, but what does the part below the number mean? Is ...
15
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3answers
3k views

What does a straight horizontal line above a few notes, after a changed tempo mean?

The piece is for playing guitar using plectrum: I am guessing the horizontal line represents the stretch of notes to be played at the changed tempo, and begin playing at the initial tempo after that.
15
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6answers
2k views

Do I have to be a virtuoso pianist to compose faster music?

I was about to compose my third movement of my first sonata, but the other movements are notated Andante and Adagio. I would want my final movement to be notated Allegro or something even faster than ...
15
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2answers
6k views

What is it called to play a music with flowing tempo in piano?

What is it called to play a music with flowing tempo in piano ? What I mean by "flowing tempo" is that when you, for example, start the music by playing it strong and little fast, but then you play ...
15
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5answers
12k views

How to calculate the tempo of a song in numbers and find the Italian terms?

I'm trying to understand how exactly we calculate tempos and how we assign their Italian names in written music. I've searched before asking, but I'm not 100% sure I've understood everything correctly,...
14
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8answers
5k views

Is it good practice to speed up and slow down where not written in a song?

When a accelerando and ritardando is not written, is it bad to speed up and slow down where you think it “sounds better?” This seems like against practicing with a steady beat, because it makes a ...
14
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5answers
10k views

Is it possible to have "Perfect Tempo"

Perfect pitch is an acknowledged musical skill - the ability to hear a note and name it. Is there a corresponding skill that applies to tempo, to be able to hear music playing and say precisely what ...
14
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1answer
27k views

How can I find the length in seconds of a quarter-note (crotchet) if I have a tempo marking?

Given a tempo marking in bpm (beats-per-minute), how can I work out the length of a crotchet (quarter-note) beat?
13
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12answers
49k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
13
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3answers
11k views

Why does some music sound faster than others even though its BPM is the same?

For example, a symphony orchestra playing Trepak at 150 BPM feels so fast, but certain types of rock music being played at 150 BPM might be considered slow. A house track at 140 BPM would be ...
12
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3answers
10k views

What is the importance of tempo and time-signatures?

What is the importance of tempo and time-signatures? Aren't tempo and time-signatures all interchangeable? 4/8 at 60 BPM can be also described as 4/4 at 120 BPM. Can't a 60 BPM tempo be transcribed to ...
12
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4answers
12k views

What is it called when a music has two concurrent tempos

I've recently watched a BBC documentary about the history of music and recall an episode where they talk about music that has two distinct tempos (and possibly time signatures) at the same time for ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Are odd time signatures perceived as execution errors by layman people?

I recall being told once that odd time signatures like 5/8, 7/8, etc. are perceived by layman people as if the interpreter had an execution error (like he/she made a tempo mistake). Is it common ...
11
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7answers
76k views

How to convert a dotted quarter note tempo to BPM?

I've got a tempo expressed as "one dotted quarter note = 100" and I want to convert this to BPM. I'm thinking it should be 150 BPM, but I'm not sure. Could someone confirm this?
10
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5answers
1k views

Decrease bpm and practice

I am using Guitar Pro 6. It has an option to decrease bpm of a song. Is it ok to decrease a song's bpm and practice if you can't play at the song's original bpm?
10
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5answers
24k views

How to keep the tempo still stable?

When I'm playing solo, let's just say that q = 120. Sometimes, I can't keep the tempo, sometimes I went faster or slower. Is there any practice or technique for keeping the tempo?
10
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2answers
2k views

How can I regulate tempo on a Roland sh-101?

I have a Roland SH-101, an analog synthesizer made in 1983. I'm trying to recreate a song, but I can't ever seem to get its sequencer to play at just the right tempo using the LFO/Clk Rate slider - it'...
9
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1answer
2k views

What do dots on the tempo's equal sign mean?

What do the dots on the tempo's equal sign mean in this picture?
9
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3answers
7k views

What is the difference between molto allegro and allegro di molto

I looked up molto allegro and allegro di molto and they both mean on the fast side of allegro. What is the difference then? Is it like "more allegro" vs "Even more allegro" where "more allegro" is ...
9
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3answers
8k views

What is Tempo (Speed): Moderate 4

I can look up the range of tempos that classify as moderate, but cannot find a source that tells me the specific bpm for: Tempo (Speed): Moderate 4 Assuming the time signature is 4:4
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6answers
6k views

What's the difference between "con brio" and "con fuoco"?

Do they just have different names but are meant to be played the same? Also, it seems like if "con fuoco" never appears in major keys, except for Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18.
8
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6answers
3k views

What do these numbers at the start of the music score mean

At the start of a guitar or drum score , there are always these 2 numbers which I don't understand What do the 2 numbers circled in red mean ??
8
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3answers
2k views

Playing ONE triplet (not three)

Has anybody ever seen playing only ONE or TWO triplets instead of three? Can anyone tell me if it's even possible and if anybody tried to do it? I guess it would be hard to count, because: In 4/4 at ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to indicate a tempo change during a repetition?

I have a quick question: What's the notation used to indicate that a certain part of a piece is supposed to be played at a higher/lower tempo but only during a repetition. For instance, if I have a D....
8
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9answers
20k views

Does 4/8 Have a Faster Tempo Than 4/4 at 60 BPM?

When playing 4/8 at 60 bpm will the rhythm or my foot tapping should be twice as fast compared to 4/4 at 60 bpm? If that's the case then does that mean bpm has been changed to 120? But I have read ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Why I tend to play faster tempo without realizing it?

I'm a pianist and I'm having something weird happen. When I play the piano and record myself I always tend to play faster than what I think. When I watch myself I see that I'm playing too fast but ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What does "Med." as a style mean in jazz fake books?

I imagine it stands for "medium", but is it a tempo indication or does it mean something else/more? For example, how does (Med. Bossa Nova) differ from (Bossa Nova)? Some pieces also only have (Med.). ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Why is Beethoven's tempo so off?

There is one thing that brought me this question. Well 2 actually. First off is Wim Winters and his Authentic Sound channel where he argues that Beethoven is using double beat for his tempos. He ...
7
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6answers
7k views

Learning to keep time

I haven't played music in quite a long time. Once thing I've noticed when I started playing again is that my tempo is completely horrible. When I play along to any song or instrumental, sometimes I ...
7
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5answers
471 views

Is the tempo supposed to be denoted in the same units as the bottom number of the time signature?

I've seen tempo sometimes denoted like "♩ = 120 BPM" instead of using something like "Adagio". In cases like this where it has a number, the actual size of the note seems ...
7
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4answers
5k views

Extreme difficulty matching a piece to the metronome (piano)

I'm having extreme difficulty following a rhythm using a metronome. Granted, I can't sightread yet so that may be the problem. Trying to play a piece I know very well by ear and matching it with the ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Tempo, time signature and note lengths [duplicate]

Is there any sound numerical correlation between tempo, time signature and note lengths(duration in time)? For example: With some certain time signature like 6/8 or 4/4 and with a 120 bpm tempo what ...
7
votes
2answers
394 views

Finding the tempo of Bruckner's "Chromatische Etüde" in F Major

How does one find the appropriate tempo for this piano piece in the manuscript of the Kitzler Study Book? It's "Chromatische Etüde" in F major by Anton Bruckner. I'm currently transcribing ...
7
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2answers
1k views

When transcribing a song and the speed doubles or halves, is it best to change the tempo and note values to reflect that or keep them the same?

This is something I've struggled with for awhile now, and applies to both transcription and composition. So, let's say we have a song at 160 BPM. The main subdivision is eighth notes, and the beat (...
7
votes
2answers
173 views

Music sheet says "in time, swing feeling", how many bpm is that?

I'm learning one jazz piece for piano. On the introduction part music sheet says "Slowly and freely, straight 8ths", once intro is done and main part begins, it says "In time, swing feeling". I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

What does it mean when there is a letter c in front of the tempo on a score?

For example, "c. 108". I need to practice and I have absolutely no idea what it means!
7
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2answers
341 views

The Harmony of Clashing Tempos

The jazz guitarist John McLaughlin once published a book of scores for a number songs that he composed for his Mahavishnu Orchestra. There are some very unusual theoretical conundrums that come up ...

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