tempo



[It., time]


The speed of the rhythm of a composition. Tempo is measured according to beats per minute. A very fast tempo, prestissimo, has between 200 and 208 beats per minute, presto has 168 to 200 beats per minute, allegro has between 120 and 168 beats per minute, moderato has 108 to 120 beats per minute, andante has 76 to 108, adagio has 66 to 76, larghetto has 60 to 66, and largo, the slowest tempo, has 40 to 60.


More about tempo markings


SUGGESTED LISTENING EXAMPLES:

Tempo, accelerando:
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody, No. 2 (ending)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 42
Glière: The Red Poppy, "Russian Soldier's Dance" (conclusion)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 15
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34, "Fandango asturiano" (middle section)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 23

Tempo, adagio:
Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op.9
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 36
Bach: Trio Sonata in G major, I
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 66
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite, Op. 46, No. 1, "Åse's Death"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 67

Tempo, allegro:
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, in B-flat major, BWV 1051, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 38
Boccherini: Concerto for Cello in B-flat major, G. 482, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 61
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 6

Tempo, andante:
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, II (piano entrance)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 4

Tempo, grave:
Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (Pathétique), I
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 34

Tempo, largo:
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (from the New World), II
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 35

Tempo, moderato:
Shostakovich: Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano, Op. 67, No.2, I (opening of second section)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 37
Hindemith: Sonata for Bass, Tuba, and Piano, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 13

Tempo, presto:
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 (Italian), IV
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 40

Tempo, ritardando:
Smetana: The Moldau (ending)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 43
Chopin: Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 16
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi, "O mio babbino caro"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 53

Tempo, vivace:
Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano, II
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 60
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 26
Smetana: The Bartered Bride, Dances: "Furiant"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 39

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