Tempo to bpm help

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Tempo to bpm help

Post by PeterDutton » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:48 pm

Two things I find difficult with sheet music, turning the page and tempo markings! My metronome has largo-40-60, larghetto-60-66, adagio-66-76, andante-76-108, moderato-108-120, allegro-120-168, presto-168-200, and prestissimo-200-208.
This helps a bit but since I play Spanish music I have to translate from Spanish to Italian to English and it's very confusing. I use the melody as a guide but I want to sound as it was written, can anyone bring light to these questions?

What is tiempo de vals lento (a slow waltz)?
Andante cantabile (a singing andante)?
Tiempo lento de mazurka (?)

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Re: Tempo to bpm help

Post by Rasputin » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:41 am

I think you always have to be guided by the music. I would understand these indications as having at least as much to do with the character of the music as the tempo, but that helps because it tells you that you want the tempo that brings out that character.

When you need a second opinion you can always look for other pieces with the same / more or less the same indication. I think one of Walton's Five Bagatelles is marked "lento; tempo di valse", although that may be in a totally different style from your piece.

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Re: Tempo to bpm help

Post by guitarrista » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:50 pm

Maybe it is also useful to just ask about the pieces themselves (what tempi people think they should be played), or just google videos of these pieces being played and diagnose the tempi.
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Re: Tempo to bpm help

Post by jgreenwd » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:33 pm

When an exact metronome marking is unavailable, I try to reference professional recordings. A great deal is guided by common practice and historical accuracy instead of the literal interpretation of the text. If you're a very literal person, it can really drive you mad. I am always amazed at the variation between world-class performers.

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