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Metronome Marks


Vox Humana
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Am I the only person who is hazy about metronome marks? The only one I can ever remember is crotchet = 60, which is the speed of Colonel Bogey (though of course the second hand on my watch is an even better aide memoire). I really do think I ought to get at least cr = 72 and cr = 100 properly into my system. I suppose the answer is to find a couple of pieces that I invariably and reliably take at these speeds, but does anyone have any magic tips?

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Am I the only person who is hazy about metronome marks? The only one I can ever remember is crotchet = 60, which is the speed of Colonel Bogey (though of course the second hand on my watch is an even better aide memoire). I really do think I ought to get at least cr = 72 and cr = 100 properly into my system. I suppose the answer is to find a couple of pieces that I invariably and reliably take at these speeds, but does anyone have any magic tips?

 

You could always buy yourself a metronome; they're not that expensive, Vox! :D

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I always remember these from preparing for my ARCO !

 

John Scott gave the following aide memoire which I have always used

 

60 = Just count seconds.

 

72 = Zadok the priest

 

100 = Happy birthday to you.

 

120 = Colonel Bogey

 

Having tested these with a metronome, I have found them amazingly accurate !

 

Hope this helps.

 

M

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I always remember these from preparing for my ARCO !

 

John Scott gave the following aide memoire which I have always used

 

60 = Just count seconds.

 

72 = Zadok the priest

 

100 = Happy birthday to you.

 

120 = Colonel Bogey

 

Having tested these with a metronome, I have found them amazingly accurate !

 

Hope this helps.

 

M

 

Splendid!

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Am I the only person who is hazy about metronome marks? The only one I can ever remember is crotchet = 60, which is the speed of Colonel Bogey (though of course the second hand on my watch is an even better aide memoire). I really do think I ought to get at least cr = 72 and cr = 100 properly into my system. I suppose the answer is to find a couple of pieces that I invariably and reliably take at these speeds, but does anyone have any magic tips?

 

 

=========================

 

 

What is a metronome?

 

I just look at the music and decide how fast it should go.

 

:o

 

MM

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So is Col. Bogey 60 (a la Vox) or 120 (a la John Scott via MAB)?

 

Or have I stupidly misunderstood something?

 

J

 

 

============================

 

 

I think it rather depends on whether Col.Bogey was fighting with the Royal Fuseliers or the KOYLI's.

 

Perhaps John Scott was thinking of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

 

 

 

:o

 

MM

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============================

I think it rather depends on whether Col.Bogey was fighting with the Royal Fuseliers or the KOYLI's.

 

Perhaps John Scott was thinking of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

:o

 

MM

 

Army Rifles Drill states

 

The need to move quickly in recce or rearguard actions, or to form a screen, required fast marching and occasional double marching. As compared to the regular infantry pace of 120 per minute, the Light Infantry or Rifle pace is 140 per minute. On ceremonial parades march pasts are done in both quick and double time, the latter 180 paces to the minute.

 

I'm sure that clears things up for you :o

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I wonder if anyone can make any suggestions about what I should do with the metronome I have at home. It seems a friendly, unassuming little thing and, once the key has been wound and a tempo set, it seems quite happy to tick away at a regular pulse. However, problems start the moment I begin to play the organ along with it. The thing keeps changing speed! Some bars it gets faster, other bars slower, and it rarely keeps in time with me. As soon as I stop playing, in order for me to reprimand it for not keeping a steady tempo, it returns to a regular tempo straight away! It's quite happy to continue this little game all day long. Other organists have complained to me that their metronomes malfunction similarly, but those belonging to other musicians seem to behave rather better. Does anyone else here have any experience of wayward metronomes, and why they seem only to misbehave for organists??? B):o:o

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I wonder if anyone can make any suggestions about what I should do with the metronome I have at home. It seems a friendly, unassuming little thing and, once the key has been wound and a tempo set, it seems quite happy to tick away at a regular pulse. However, problems start the moment I begin to play the organ along with it. The thing keeps changing speed! Some bars it gets faster, other bars slower, and it rarely keeps in time with me. As soon as I stop playing, in order for me to reprimand it for not keeping a steady tempo, it returns to a regular tempo straight away! It's quite happy to continue this little game all day long. Other organists have complained to me that their metronomes malfunction similarly, but those belonging to other musicians seem to behave rather better. Does anyone else here have any experience of wayward metronomes, and why they seem only to misbehave for organists??? B):o:o

 

I blame it all on vibrations!

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Guest Patrick Coleman
I wonder if anyone can make any suggestions about what I should do with the metronome I have at home. It seems a friendly, unassuming little thing and, once the key has been wound and a tempo set, it seems quite happy to tick away at a regular pulse. However, problems start the moment I begin to play the organ along with it. The thing keeps changing speed! Some bars it gets faster, other bars slower, and it rarely keeps in time with me. As soon as I stop playing, in order for me to reprimand it for not keeping a steady tempo, it returns to a regular tempo straight away! It's quite happy to continue this little game all day long. Other organists have complained to me that their metronomes malfunction similarly, but those belonging to other musicians seem to behave rather better. Does anyone else here have any experience of wayward metronomes, and why they seem only to misbehave for organists??? :huh::unsure::blink:

 

I would never claim to be any more than a moderately competent organist, though I have been told I have an accurate sense of rhythm, especially when singing. Introduce a metronome to the musical relationship, however, and I become a wreck. At best, I use it to indicate a tempo as I read the music in my head: then it goes back to the hell hole where it belongs. :angry:

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Seriously, I think it is important when using a metronome to distinguish between those fluctuations in tempo that are due to one's natural responses to the shape of a phrase or nuances of feeling/interpretation (these are OK, for it is such nuances that make the music live) and those that are due to technical problems (which are not OK). Drilling yourself to play difficult passages with metronomic precision can I think be very beneficial. However the more you use a metronome, the greater the danger that it will push the natural musical feeling into the background. On the whole metronomes should be used with discretion and not for extended periods (except perhaps when a pupil lacks any sense of regular rhythm whatsoever).

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I swear by my metronome(s). I have two of the credit card - sized digital metronomes. One sits on the toaster at home, and the other is in my music case so I have a metronome wherever I go.

 

I do not actually use it that much to gauge the tempo of a piece, apart from just getting an idea at the beginning.

 

However, I do use it a great deal when practicing.

 

As regular readers of this board will know (yawn), I am a great fan of practicing very slowly, that is, at quarter speed.

 

Playing along with a metronome is essential to make sure that you keep strictly to this discipline, otherwise it is all too easy to say 'I know this bit - it doesn't matter if I speed up here'. That is not how the exercise works.

 

I accept, though, that this is a discipline to be used for short, concentrated periods, rather than all the time.

 

The other thing that my metronome shows me is when I am speeding up. It can be very hard to keep a strict pulse in a piece, especially if the movement changes from, say, duplets to triplets, or the writing gets denser. A sense of anxiety as the notes pile up can cause you to speed up without realising it. Again, once or twice through (only) with the metronome helps to correct this problem.

 

Finally, the metronome was crucial in preparing for the dreaded RCO tests. I would always practice these with the metronome ticking simply to force my brain into the required discipline. In response to Vox Humana's point, those of a cynical disposition might say that 'pushing natural musical feeling into the background' is the essence of passing those particular tests. I could not possibly comment.

 

M

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