What Does Andante Mean in Music?

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Andante is a tempo marking that tells the musician how fast a piece of music is supposed to be played. Tempo markers help to keep music at a uniform speed, no matter who is playing the song.

Beats per Minute

  • Andante means to play music at a moderate pace. In terms of beats per minute (bpm), andante can mean anything from 58 bpm to 108 bpm. This is a wide range of tempos, so often times the bpm is listed on the sheet music near the word "andante."

Etymology

  • Andante is Italian in origin. It is a form of the Italian word for andare (meaning "to go"), but it has often been translated as "moving along" or "walking pace." According to the online etymology dictionary, the word originated in 1742.

Other Tempo Markings

  • More than 20 different Italian tempo markings exist. The slowest of these markings is grave, and veloce is the quickest. Other common tempo markings are, from slowest to fastest, largo, lento, allegro and presto.

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References

  • Photo Credit music book. manuscript. music score image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com
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