7.6 Tempo


Category: Elementary music theory | Tags: Tempo

The speed (tempo) in which music is played is indicated with (often Italian) words. At the begining of a piece, above the first measure, is usually an indication for the tempo in which the piece is meant to be played, for example, allegro or moderato. Then you’ll know how fast you have to count and how long a quarter note lasts. Also, within the piece of music are terms indicating the speed/tempo changes, like ritardando. Learn these words from memory. Do you not know one of the words? Look it up and learn it from memory.



agitato agitated.
andantino slightly faster than andante (but it can also mean slightly slower).
grave very slow, solemn.
largo slow, stately.
larghetto rather slow, but slightly faster than largo.
lento slow.
prestissimo very fast.
smorzando dying away in tone and speed.
troppo too much.