Tempo, time signature idiom

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Nov 4, 2012.


  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Hi there

    I found this link quite helpful in explaining the relationship between suitable tempos for given time signature

    http://www.musicarrangers.com/star-theory/t19.htm

    however, as a "reality" check, could I ask if you fundamentally agree?

    My search was in relation to understanding the "expected' speed when looking at an unknown piece of music for the first time

    Regards to all
  2. longfinger

    longfinger

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Hmm.. so so. Yes in a way, but also no.

    Back in the day, like hundreds of years ago, publishers would notate music based a lot on what they were able to do with the printing technology they had, regardless of how the music sounded. They avoided extra lines whenever possible. (eg, using faster pulse BPM with quarters and eighths instead of slower pulse BPM with eights and 16ths.)

    (I also think that 2/2 is great for fast tempos where we count halfs instead of quarters, why use cut time when 2/2 is also what it is?)

    I've read somewhere, that people feel a 'core pulse' that is similar to our heartbeat range, and tempos that are faster or slower than that range are heard/felt as a multiples/divisions of that core pulse.
  3. Samsound

    Samsound

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    I can see that, to an extent. When we do 6/8 stuff (for example, Crowder's How He Loves) I tend to count/feel it as 2/4 with triplets.
  4. neilG

    neilG

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Generally speaking, there is no relationship between meter and tempo. Yesterday I played a gigue in fast 6/8, felt in two, and in the evening played Madam Butterfly in which there are excruciatingly slow passages also in 6/8, counted in 6. To determine tempo, there needs to be more information, such as type of piece (gigue, for example), historical period and/or an indication like "Allegro".
  5. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Thanks NeilG, and all. I suppose the article is trying to "generalize" with all the pitfalls that go with that.
  6. neilG

    neilG

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Pretty much. His first paragraph is well into the BS range. "6/8 is never slow"? Yikes, he shoulda been at the opera last night. :)

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