In Musical Terminology, tempo (Italian for "time") is the speed or pace of a given piece. It is an extremely crucial element of sound, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.

Measuring tempoEdit

The tempo of a piece will typically be written at the start of a piece of music, and in modern music is usually indicated in beats per minute (BPM). This means that a particular note value (for example, a quarter note) is specified as the beat, and the marking indicates that a certain number of these beats must be played per minute. For example Q=120 means play 120 quarter notes per minute.

Basic Italian tempo markingsEdit

  • Grave - very slowly and almost solemn
  • Adagio - slowly
  • Largo - slowly and broadly
  • Lento - "slow" but usually only moderately so
  • Andante - at a walking pace
  • Moderato - at a moderate tempo, neither fast nor slow
  • Allegretto - "a little allegro", understood to be not quite as fast as allegro
  • Allegro - quickly
  • Vivace - very fast, lively and brisk
  • Presto - fast
  • Prestissimo - very, very fast.