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Basic Tempo Markings

By adding an -issimo ending the word is amplified/made louder, by adding an -ino or -etto ending the word is diminished/made softer. The metronome marks are broad approximations.

Note: Metronome markings are a guide only and depending on the time signature and the piece itself, these figures may not be appropriate in every circumstance. Also, in longer pieces such as symphony movements, the tempo marking used by the composer for the movement does not have to be adhered to strictly throughout the movement; individual interpreters may vary the tempo at times, at their discretion.

Slow

  • Larghissimo – very, very slow (19 BPM and under)
  • Grave – slow and solemn (20–40 BPM)
  • Lento – slowly (40–45 BPM)
  • Largo – broadly (45–50 BPM)
  • Larghetto – rather broadly (50–55 BPM)
  • Adagio – slow and stately (literally, “at ease”) (55–65 BPM)
  • Adagietto – rather slow (65–69 BPM)
  • Andante moderato – a bit slower than andante (69–72 BPM)
  • Andante – at a walking pace (73–77 BPM)
  • Andantino – slightly faster than andante (although in some cases it can be taken to mean slightly slower than andante) (78–83 BPM)
  • Marcia moderato – moderately, in the manner of a march] (83–85 BPM)
  • Moderato – moderately (86–97 BPM)

Fast

  • Accelerando – gradually accelerating
  • Allegretto – moderately fast (98–109 BPM)
  • Allegro – fast, quickly and bright (109–132 BPM)
  • Vivace – lively and fast (132–140 BPM)
  • Vivacissimo – very fast and lively (140–150 BPM)
  • Allegrissimo – very fast (150–167 BPM)
  • Presto – very fast (168–177 BPM)
  • Prestissimo – extremely fast (178 BPM and over)
Tags : music
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