How to Find Tempos to a Song

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Finding tempo to a song makes it possible to categorize your music by beat-per-minute and compares songs of different speeds. The tempo is the speed at which a piece of music moves in time. When the beat speeds up or slows down, the tempo also changes. Think of the beat or tempo as the pace at which you dance or tap your foot to the music. The beat is a steady tempo that does not fluctuate except in the cases of a tempo change.

Things You'll Need

  • Stopwatch
  • Tempo chart
  • Play the music and begin tapping your foot to the main beat. The beat should be at an equally spaced interval. Don't confuse the beat with individual rhythms in the song.

  • Use the stopwatch to time how many times you tap your foot in 12 seconds. Write this number down.

  • Multiply the number you received by five. This will give you the tempo in beats-per-minute.

  • Identify the general tempo that the music falls under by assigning a tempo indicator such as prestissimo, presto, allegro, moderato, andante, adagio and grave. The fastest tempo has a speed higher than 200 beats per minute, while the slowest tempo falls between 40 an 60. Use a tempo chart to determine exact tempos, but keep in mind there are several variations among tempo charts and the indications indicate an approximation.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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