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Tempo marks on piano sheet music.

BPM can be indicated by tempo terms, metronome marks, or both.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: Tempo, Italian for “time,” indicates the speed of a song; the rate at which beats are repeated. Tempo is measured in beats per minute (BPM), which is indicated at the beginning of sheet music in two ways:
  1. Metronome marks: ♪ = 76

  2. Tempo terms (often in Italian): Adagio is around 76 BPM

The plural of tempo is tempi, but the anglicized “tempos” is more common.

More About Tempo:

 ►  Tempo Marks In-Depth
 ►  Understanding Time Signatures
 ►  Take the Rhythm & Tempo Quiz

Also Known As: Pronunciation: tem'-poh

More Tempo Terminology:

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