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  • Posted On: 24 Apr 2021
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What Is Tempo? And Why It Is Important In Music?

When we hear music, it does not progress in the same way. If music has started with a low tempo it will take a rise and the tempo will increase. Have you ever wondered why the tempo is adjusted in the music?

Would you like to listen to music that has the same speed from the beginning till the end? To make music interesting and attention-grabbing the tempo plays an important role.

Tempo in music refers to the speed at which the music is being played. The Song composition differs with the type of tempo.

There are three ways in which the tempo is communicated. We usually use the Italian term and that is why we refer to the speed of the music as ‘tempo’. Tempo in Italian means ‘time’. As here are songs for every occasion the tempo of each song differs. For example, if funeral music is played it cannot be upbeat and if wedding music is played it cannot be slow.

Based on this classification the musicians have made marking to understand and recognize the tempo of a song.

Three Basic Ways By Which Tempo Is Communicated

1. Italian Terminology

For many centuries the language of music has been Italian. Many musicians received the information in Italian. Some if the common Italian tempos are largo, andante, allegro, and presto

2. Beats Per Minute

BPM or beats per minute is a self-explanatory term. It refers to the number of beats in a minute. However, in the entire music, the beats cannot remain the same. This technique of calculating the tempo is used in film scoring to determine the slow or fast tempo of the music precisely.

3. Modern Language

The Jazz And Rock musician don't use the Italian terminologies and instead use ‘Fast’, ‘Lazily’, ‘Slow’ and ‘Moderate’

Let’s Know The Standard Tempo Notations In Music

  • Grave - The Slowest
  • Largo - funeral or march music which is very slow and serious
  • Larghetto - Slow but faster than Largo
  • Lento - Slow
  • Adagio - Leisurely, used in wedding and marches
  • Andante - Walking pace
  • Moderato - Neither fast nor slow, Moderate
  • Allegretto - Moderately fast
  • Vivace - Lively and fast
  • Presto - Very Fast
  • Prestissimo - Faster than Prest

Importance Of Tempo In Music

Every musical element has its importance whether it is lyrics, composition, tune, melody, or tempo. If anything is disturned the entire music loses its essence. If every component of music is well balanced then the music is a success. However many music engineers have the superpower to eliminate the mistake through mixing and mastering.

1. Key Element In Music

Tempo is a major element in music that determines the entire mood of it. We play music according to our mood and it depends on the tempo at which the music is set in.

2. Helps In Distinguishing The Mood Of The Music

Tempo decides the mood of the song and helps the listeners in deciding whether it is a fun song or a serious one. The entire music becomes attention-grabbing due to the feel it creates through the tempo.

3. Aligns With The Human Heart Rate

As already discussed above, tempo means the beats music makes in a minute which coincides with our heartbeat. When we listen to music we also feel its vibrations, the sound is the vibrations that make us get engrossed in it.

Concluding Thoughts: Music is an integral piece of art in our lives and it holds a lot of importance. If the music we listen to and reminisce is not made accurately we wouldn't enjoy listening to and singing it. The appreciation goes to the composer and online music production services who make the music matching our demands. If you get confused with the technicalities of tempo, pitch and scale then you can reach out to the music arrangement services online who can make music of your choice with perfection.
Narmada Amrit Aggarwal
May , 2022

This blog explains the music in all sense. It gives the basic as well as the vocabulary used in the music industry. According to me, this blog is very useful for those who want to know more about the music and the art behind it.

Ajay Chandra
April , 2022

Being a beginner myself in the field of music, this article has been quite useful to me. I never knew if so much science is involved behind music. History behind the word "tune" is also very fascinating.

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