Discovering music through listening
Discovering music through listening

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Discovering music through listening

2 From pulse to tempo

The audio extracts in the previous section demonstrate how composers can make use of different tempos to contribute to the overall mood of a piece of music. Tempo can be defined as the speed or pace of the music, and is determined by the pulse rate: fast music will have a fast pulse, and slow music a slow pulse. Although the tempo of a piece of music may be consistent, composers can change the tempo to add contrast and create interest within a single piece.

This shows a tempo marking in musical notation
Figure 2 A tempo marking in musical notation.

Activity 2

Listen to the following extracts and decide whether the tempo, and therefore the pulse, of each extract is fast or slow. Indicate this below using the words ‘fast’ or ‘slow’.

While undertaking this activity remember that tempo indicates the pace of the music. Think about whether the music sounds fast or slow moving; a fast tempo will result in a fast pulse.

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Audio 5: The Beatles, Getting Better, 00:07–00:37
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Audio 6: Oscar Peterson, C Jam Blues, 00:04–00:34
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Audio 7: Cinematic Orchestra Ft. Roots Manuva, All Things to All Men, 04:22–04:52
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Discussion

The tempo of Audio 5 is fast, and therefore has a fast pulse.

The tempo of Audio 6 is fast, and therefore has a fast pulse.

The tempo of Audio 7 is slow, and therefore has a slow pulse.

DMTL_1

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