Tempo

Tempo is the speed of music. It's a steady constant pulse, like a clock ticking. Tempo can be slow or fast or in-between, and it can change during a song. tempo influences how music sounds and feels. The same piece of music will sould different if you play it slower or faster

The following is a list of the most important terms and their meanings:

Italian tempo markings

Tempo that are written on the beginning of the music sheet

  • Lengo
  • Larto
  • Adagio
  • Andante
  • Moderato
  • Allegro
  • Vivance
  • Presto
  • Broad, very slow
  • Slow
  • Slow
  • Slow walking speed
  • Moderate walking speed
  • Fast
  • Quick, lively
  • Very Fast

In addition, the following two terms are important because they indicate graduual changes of tempo:

  • Ritardando(rit.)
  • Accelerando(accel.)
  • Gradually becoming slower
  • Gradually becoming faster

Although these terms give a general indication of how fast a piece of music should be performed, they are open to a certain amount of interpretation A more precise method of setting tempo is to use metronome indications. The metronome is an instrument invented in early 1800s that produces a specific number of clicks per minute. Each click represents one beat. the metronome indication is given at the beginning o a composition. It looks like this:

= 60