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Music Dictionary/Tempo Terms

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Tempo means time in Italian, with regard to speed; the pace at which a composition is to be performed. The plural of tempo is tempi. Here are some common tempo indications.

Grave - Very Slow

Lento - Slow

Largo - Slow

Larghetto - A little faster than Largo

Adagio - Moderately Slow

Andante - "Walking" Tempo

Andantino - A little faster than Andante

Allegretto - A little slower than Allegro

Allegro - Fast

Vivace - Lively

Presto - Very Fast

Prestissimo - Very Very Fast

Moderato - Moderate(ly)

Molto - Very

Accel., Accelerando - Gradually becoming faster

Rit., Ritardando - Gradually becoming slower

Definitions and terms excerpted from
Belwin Pocket Dictionary of Music: Music Theory Dictionary
By Dr. William Lee
Students may purchase a copy for home use at cost

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