Saturday, August 28, 2004

Tempo -ature(it's gettin' hott in here)

You might recognize the term 'tempo' from seeing it as a tempo or "return to original speed" in a piece of music. Tempo is defined as "the speed at which music is performed." (The Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th Edition. Don Randel) These speeds can be anywhere from very slow (adagio) to very fast (presto). Performance tempos are a personal preference for the performer, but they must be chosen with consideration to the time period and style of the piece. Before the 17th century, there were no terms to express tempo (i.e. presto, andante, etc). Tempo was decided by mensural notation, the full note-values and the pulse. Mensural notation is a really long involved and confusing definition, so if you want to know more, go here: Music Dictionary