Tempo



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Lesson

Basic tempo markings

All of these markings are based on a few root words. By adding an -issimo ending the word is amplified/made louder, by adding an -ino ending the word is diminished/made softer, and by adding an -etto ending the word is endeared. 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.

  • Larghissimo — very, very slow (20 bpm and below)
  • Grave — slow and solemn (20–40 bpm)
  • Lento — slowly (40–60 bpm)
  • Largo — broadly (40–60 bpm)
  • Larghetto — rather broadly (60–66 bpm)
  • Adagio — slow and stately (literally, “at ease”) (66–76 bpm)
  • Adagietto — rather slow (70–80 bpm)
  • Andante Moderato — a bit slower than andante
  • Andante — at a walking pace (76–108 bpm)
  • Andantino – slightly faster than andante
  • Moderato — moderately (101–110 bpm)
  • Allegretto — moderately fast (but less so than allegro)
  • Allegro moderato — moderately quick (112–124 bpm)
  • Allegro — fast, quickly and bright (120–139 bpm)
  • Vivace — lively and fast (≈140 bpm) (quicker than allegro)
  • Vivacissimo — very fast and lively
  • Allegrissimo — very fast
  • Presto — very fast (168–200 bpm)
  • Prestissimo — extremely fast (more than 200bpm)

Metronomes

Korg MA-30

Korg MA-30 Metronome