What is tempo and how do I read tempo markings in music? This music theory lesson gives the music definition of tempo (the speed of the music) and shows how to work out the tempo when reading sheet music.
The following music tempo terms are covered:
adagio - slow tempo andante - walking pace moderato - moderate tempo allegro - fast tempo presto - very fast tempo
The music theory lesson also discusses the use of beats per minute (bpm) tempo metronome markings, which are increasingly used in contemporary sheet music scores.
Changes in tempo are also discussed, including the following terms:
Rallentando (rall.) - get slower Ritardando (rit.) - get slower Accelerando (accel.) - get quicker a tempo - return to original tempo
Some examples of tempo markings in pieces of music are given.
More examples of tempo markings can be found at https://www.musictheoryacademy.com/how-to-read-sheet-music/tempo/