relationship of notes to tempo

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Randy07
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relationship of notes to tempo

#1 Post by Randy07 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:18 pm

Hi everyone,

I need a little clarification on the relationship of note length and tempo; are they independant? In other words, does the length of a specific note (e.g quarter note) change depending on what tempo is being used?

Thanks,
-Randy

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Breeder
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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#2 Post by Breeder » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:55 pm

Tempo is measured in BPM, that means beats per minute...so 180 BPM is 180 beats per minute
Now that you have your speed you have to know how to act accordingly to it

So you look at the time signature

if it says 4/4 it means that every beat is equal to 1/4 note
if it says 5/8 it means that every beat is equal to 1/8 note
etc etc etc

edit: but ofc tempo can also be notated with note value
ie.
1/4=180, so each quarter note is one beat
1/18=180, so each eight note is one beat

and I am not really sure if I got it correct so somebody who knows better may correct me :mrgreen:

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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#3 Post by Jeries » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:01 am

A time signature tells us two things-
how many beats are allowed in each measure
and what note gets each beat

in 4/4 there would be 4 beats- and each beat would be a quarter note.

if i was playing at 60bpm or 120bpm or 260 bpm- the quarter note would still equal one beat and in each measure there would be 4 beats.

there are many ways you can write the same thing.
make any sense?

a whole note will still be held for 4 beats no matter the tempo being fast or slow- its still just four beats of whatever the tempo is-

let me try one last way of explaining...
hum smoke on the water very slowly
dunnnn daaa dunnn duh duh daaa daaaaa

now hum it wayyyyy faster

dun da dun d d da da

each rhythm had the same relationship- and was the same time/notes- just tempo varied

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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#4 Post by Randy07 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:59 am

Ok, i kind of get it, but i'm still a little confused. In the time sig. of 4/4, Jeseries said that 4 beats equals a whole note; now i don't get what dicates the length of each beat; is it the concept of a quater note, or the tempo?

Bear with me if i seem slow at this, been trying to figure this out for a while,lol...

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Big Bad Bill
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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#5 Post by Big Bad Bill » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:43 am

Randy07 wrote:Ok, i kind of get it, but i'm still a little confused. In the time sig. of 4/4, Jeseries said that 4 beats equals a whole note; now i don't get what dicates the length of each beat; is it the concept of a quater note, or the tempo?
Somewhere on the music score it should tell you the beat frequency of a quarter note for that piece of music-usually at the very top.

Note duration and tempo are inextricably linked. The tempo tells you the over all 'unit of timing' and the note durations tell you the length of notes as a function of that tempo. It took me years to understand that fact alone due to poor explanations from music teachers! So when someone boasts they can play 32nd note (demisemiquavers for us Europeans-the American system is so much more logical than ours for a change!) licks, it is entirely meaningless unless they tell you the at which tempo its a subdivision of!

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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#6 Post by Breeder » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:52 am

tempo dictates the lenght of each beat...
quarter notes, half notes etc are just mathematical subdivision

And what note equals one beat depends on the time signature


some examples I have found on the net:
http://www.musicarrangers.com/star-theory/t15.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Breeder
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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#7 Post by Breeder » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:55 am

Big Bad Bill wrote:It took me years to understand that fact alone due to poor explanations from music teachers!
thank god for the books and the internet :lol: :lol:
love being self taught :lol: :lol:

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Re: relationship of notes to tempo

#8 Post by Randy07 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:49 pm

ah...i get it now, thanks guys!

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