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A Basic Introduction to Rhythm
Part 2: Tempo

Tempo is the speed of the beat. We describe tempo with terms like fast, slow, or moderate. Often in printed music, tempos are indicated by Italian terms like adagio, andante, and allegro.

Scientifically, we measure tempo by beats per minute. The metronome is an extremely useful device which produces a repetitive clicking or beeping sound at a steady tempo. Metronomes have been around for many years and they are an inexpensive way to help you practice your music accurately. The numbers on the metronome indicate the beats per minute.
For a great online metronome, visit RhythmBot’s friend, MetronomeBot. The site has metronomes that click and also metronomes that speak each beat.

There are three music examples below. The music is exactly the same with one major exception -- each example is played at a different tempo. These examples show what a powerful effect that tempo can have on a piece of music. When played at a slow tempo, the music is fairly calm and almost relaxing. When played at a fast tempo it is exciting and energetic.

The next aspect of rhythm is meter.
Go to Part 3


MetronomeBot -- the Online Talking Metronome


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