Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 3, last updated 6/25/2013
Tempo Marking Meaning
prestissimo extremely fast (more than 200 BPM)
presto very fast (168 – 200 BPM)
allegro fast (120 – 168 BPM)
moderato moderately (108 – 120 BPM)
andante “at a walking pace” (76 – 108 BPM)
adagio slowly (66 – 76 BPM)
lento or largo very slowly (40 – 60 BPM)
Students learning to play the piano sometimes use a device called a metronome to tick
out the beats per minute while they practice. Metronomes are also usually built into MIDI
sequencers and keyboards.
18.104.22.168 Rests and their Duration
Rhythm is determined not only by the duration of notes but also by how much
silence there is between notes. The duration of silence between notes is
indicated by a rest. The symbols for rests are given in Table 3.5. The length of
a rest corresponds to the length of a note of the same name.
Table 3.5 Rests and their duration
A dot placed after a note or rest increases its duration by one-half of its original value.
This is shown in Table 3.6. Figure 3.18 shows a fragment of Mozart’s “A Little Night Music,”
which contains eighth rests in the second, third, and fourth measures. Since this piece is in
time, the eighth rest gets one beat.