(or speed, or movement)
This chapter presents
the concept of tempo or movement and how to indicate tempo in
Musical theory reminder
Tempo is the speed at which your tune is played.
It is indicated in a score by using terms
such as: Andante (moderate),
Allegro (animated) ...
It can also be written as a musical note followed
by the equals sign and the metronome setting
for this note.
For example, a quarter note followed by "=100"
means 100 quarter notes will be played in one minute.
In Harmony-Melody you can set the General tempo
(Score>General tempo) to specify the global value of the tune's
speed. This value is given as the number of quarter notes per minute.
In addition to this general tempo, you can set
a tempo change anywhere in the score.
tempo change tool is included in the "Ottava & tempo" palette in
A tempo change always applies to all staves simultaneously.
It is sensible, as an aid to clarity, to write all tempo changes on the
first staff, but this is not obligatory.
When clicking on a score with this tool, a new
item appears. It has several elements. By default, tempo change has no
effect on playing speed, it only indicates the current tempo value at
location in the score. If you edit it and change its values, the tune
speed will be changed from that location onwards.
To delete a tempo change, use the delete (lightning
You can move or resize the tempo change item by
using the Select (lasso) tool on this item.
Double-clicking on an
item edits it and lets
you change its internal values.
Here is an example of a tempo change item in
From left to right, you see:
A caption. This text is free, you can write anything
you want and choose its display parameters (font, style, size). This
is optional, if you do not want it to appear, leave this field blank.
will find at the end of this chapter
a list of the most common
A horizontal line. This line is used to show
the end of a tempo change, when using the smooth variation option. You
can choose not to display this line.
A note. This is the reference note. You can
select the note value from a 32nd note to a dotted whole note. This
note can be displayed just after the text or at the right of the item's
field. It can also be not displayed at all.
A number. This is the number of reference
notes per minute. In our example, 120 eighth notes will be played in
- The reference note
size can be changed.
||Warning: If you leave the caption
blank, set the reference note to invisible and do not display the
line, your tempo change item will be completely invisible.
Harmony-Melody allows you to define either an abrupt
a smooth tempo change.
With a smooth change, tempo will change smoothly
until the desired value is reached.
This change will be more or less rapid, according
to the size of the tempo change item. When a smooth change is
the tempo stays at the final value, i.e. the one you set in the tempo
The beginning and the end of the tempo object can be
input beginning and end in measure number, beat position and fractional
You can setup the shape of the acceleration. Six
predefined shapes are proposed. For example, a tempo can go from value
100 to 150 with a slow acceleration then a quick. Click on the red
to change the curve shape.
In our example, the change of tempo will begin
on the first quarter note, and reach a final
value of 120 at the third
are invited to view the "Smooth tempo variations: ritardendo,
accelerando." video tutorial ("Windows>Tutorials" menu in the
The speed at which your tune is played is set primarily
by the general tempo. If you change this value, all tempo change
items on your score will be adjusted automatically.
of older versions of Harmony & Melody will be accustomed to setting
variations with the "tempo staff". This is still possible, but using
new notation is recommended.
Here are some of the terms most commonly used
to express tempo values:
||Broad, very slow
||A little bit faster than largo
||A little bit faster than lento.
||A little bit faster than andante
||As fast as possible
Some other terms can be added to specify the style