Rhythm and metre
Timing and rhythm are vital to all forms of music. Without them the sound becomes unformulated and the musicians cannot play in unison.
The pulse is the beat in a piece of music.
The tempo of a piece of music is the speed of the underlying beat.
Tempo is measured in BPM, or Beats Per Minute. 60 BPM is one beat every second. Sometimes the tempo is written at the beginning of the music and is called a metronome marking. Tempo and stylistic feel are often indicated in classical music by Italian terminology.
Here are some of the common Italian musical terms and their meanings.
|Largo||Slowly and broadly|
|Andante||Slowish, at walking pace|
|Moderato||At moderate speed|
|Accelerando||Gradually speeding up|
|Rallentando||Gradually slowing down|
|Allargando||Getting slower and broadening|
|Rubato||Literally 'robbed time', where rhythms are played freely for expressive effect.|