1. What is a tempo?
2. Name 4 tempos and define them.
3. What ballet takes place on Christmas Eve?
4. Name 2 pieces from the ballet.
5. What is your tempo as a person?Name another person and their tempo.
Musical composer Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet “The Nutcracker” is based on a story by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann from 1812. In The Nutcracker, a Christmas present — a nutcracker — comes to life as a handsome prince. He takes the young girl who received him as a present on some fantastic adventures.
The music of the ballet has many different tempos. Tempo is the speed at which a piece of music is played. The words used for tempos are written in Italian.
Some musical tempos include:
- Largo—the most commonly indicated “slow” tempo (40–60 BPM)
- Adagio—another popular slow tempo, which translates to mean “at ease” (66–76 BPM)
- Andante—a popular tempo that translates as “at a walking pace” (76–108 BPM)
- Moderato—moderately (108–120 BPM)
- Allegro—perhaps the most frequently used tempo marking (120–168 BPM, which includes the “heartbeat tempo” sweet spot)
- Vivace—lively and fast (typically around 168-176 BPM)
- Presto—the most popular way to write “very fast” and a common tempo in fast movements of symphonies (ranges from 168–200 BPM)
What tempos fit the music from these Nutcracker examples below:
4. Waltz of the flowers
5. Dance of the sugar plum fairy
6. Pas de Deux
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