How To Determine The Tempo Of A Song

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How To Determine The Tempo Of A Song
How To Determine The Tempo Of A Song

Video: How To Determine The Tempo Of A Song

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Tempo is one of the fundamental characteristics of a piece of music. There are traditional methods for determining the tempo of songs, as well as computer programs that serve as their counterparts.

How to determine the tempo of a song
How to determine the tempo of a song

It is necessary

metronome or computer program as its counterpart

Instructions

Step 1

This term comes from the Italian word tempo, which, in turn, goes back to the Latin tempus - "time". Tempo is the rate at which you move from one musical unit to another. In classical music, several main types are used: largo and adagio (slowly, calmly), andante and moderato (moderately, not fast), allegretto (rather fast), allegro, vivache (fast, lively), presto (very fast). Often before the score, not only the name of the tempo is indicated, but also its speed in absolute units (for example, 60 beats per minute can correspond to andante).

Step 2

Traditionally, a metronome is used to determine the tempo. The device, consisting of a body with markings and a pendulum hand with a weight, allows you to observe the frequency of oscillations of a certain speed (in absolute units - the number of beats per second). By moving the weight down, you set a faster pace, up - a slower one. The rate at which the metronome hand oscillates is indicated on it as a scale. The first oscillation must coincide with the first measure of the piece.

Step 3

The task of determining the tempo arises not only for the performers of instrumental music, but also for the authors and processors of electronic compositions. Works with broken rhythms are especially difficult, and it is this that characterizes many areas of modern music - from drum'n'base to techno, from breakcore to house. There are many computer programs, the functionality of which includes measuring the tempo (beat per minute) of a musical segment. These include DJing software VirtualDJ, FL Studio and their counterparts. There are also simple BPM counters (MixMeister BPM Analyzer and others) that work like a metronome.

Step 4

Many DJing consoles have built-in BPM counters, but you shouldn't rely on them. Firstly, the accuracy of most of them reaches only 1 beat per minute (which at 130 BPM gives a deviation of 0.77%, and even more at faster ones). And secondly, one day you may find yourself behind turntables that do not have this device, and you will have to rely only on yourself. So it is recommended to use the BPM counters for self-check at the beginning of the track.

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