noun tem·po \ˈtem-(ˌ)pō\

: the speed at which a musical piece is played or sung

: the speed at which something moves or happens

plural tem·pi \-(ˌ)pē\ or tempos

Full Definition of TEMPO

:  the rate of speed of a musical piece or passage indicated by one of a series of directions (as largo, presto, or allegro) and often by an exact metronome marking
:  rate of motion or activity :  pace

Examples of TEMPO

  1. The song has a slow tempo.
  2. The composition has many changes of tempo.
  3. We walked at a fast tempo.
  4. The tempo of the game slowed down.
  5. The dance starts out fast and then switches tempo.

Origin of TEMPO

Italian, literally, time, from Latin tempus
First Known Use: circa 1724

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue


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