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File:Metronome Nikko.jpg

A metronome is a piece of laboratory apparatus and is a device that produces regular ticks (beats). More precisely it produces a regulated aural, visual or tactile pulse. It dates back to the early 19th century. A metronome is used by some performing musicians for practice in maintaining a consistent tempo; it gives composers an approximate way of specifying the tempo Many consider a metronome as an overly restrictive way of specifying tempo, since it cannot account for accellerando, rallendando, rubato, rhythmic alteration, spontaneous creative choices in rhythmic nuance etc. Ultimately the timing-details of an expressive performance cannot be notated with metronome markings.

Etymology Edit

The word metronome first appeared in English c.1815 [1] and is Greek in origin:

metron = measure, nomos = regulating

File:Wittner metronome.jpg


Usage Edit

Metronomes may be used by musicians when practicing in order to maintain a constant tempo; by adjusting the metronome, facility can be achieved at varying tempi. Even in pieces that do not require a strictly constant tempo (such as in the case of rubato), a metronome "marking" is sometimes given by the composer to give an indication of the general tempo intended, found in the score at the beginning of a piece or movement thereof.

Tempo is most always measured in beats per minute (BPM); metronomes can be set to variable tempi, usually ranging from 40 to 208 BPM. Although rare, another marking denoting metronome tempi is M.M., or Mälzel's Metronome.

Types of metronomesEdit

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