Tempo question (Curiosity only.)

• Nov 7, 2015 - 01:31

I am transcribing a piece for my vocal ensemble, that has through some unfortunate accident, become almost unreadable.
The tempo marking at the start indicates, quarter note = 112 bpm.
About half way through, there is a tempo marking of half note = 56 bpm.
The only difference musically in this section after the second tempo marking, it that it is an instrumental instead of being sung vocally.
Listening to it, there does not seem to be any difference.
Just curious.


Well, 112 quarter notes per minute is indeed the same tempo as 56 half notes per minute. I'm guessing the time signature changes from 4/4 to 2/2 (cut time) at that point too, but if not, perhaps the basic pulse for the second section is supposed to be felt as 2 slower beats per measure as opposed to four faster beats per measure.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No, time signature remains at 4/4 through out, I even went back over the score to make sure I did not miss either a time change or tempo change.
Speaking to the ensemble director, she did mention that there is a different feel needed between the vocal (112 Quarter) and instrumental (56 half) even though the tempo and the melody is the same for both, so your suggestion does seem to fit the bill, thank you for your insight.
One thing I did notice when going over it, there is a change of instrumentation, from woodwinds and piano to woodwinds, brass and strings at that point, may or may not have anything to do with it.

Eureka, may have the answer, by looking ahead, at the end of this passage (half =52) is the text "in four", the beginning of the passage where the tempo marking is, is badly stained and by using a strong light and magnifier, hidden in the stain is the faded text, "in two" next to the tempo (half = 52).
So while the time sig remains at 4/4, treat is at 2/2.

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