Tempo Means Speed!

Sometimes music is fast; sometimes it is slow. The term that describes how fast or slow music moves is tempo. When composers create music, not only do they write the notes they want musicians to play, they identify the tempo at which they want it played.

Some musical terms composers use to indicate the tempo of a piece of music are:

Lento – slow
Andante – (pronounced ahn-DON-tay) moderate, at a walking pace
Allegro – (ah-LEH-gro) fast
Presto – very fast!