A discovery of sorts? (for me at least) Validate please?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So I was practicing to the met. Mine bottoms out at 40 BPM. Wondering why they don't go down to 2 BPM, I decided to mathematically deduce what a corresponding higher tempo would be. One that I could set the met to. I started with 2 BPM because 1 x 1 = 1, dead end. You'll are with me right? My reasoning is that if I can't set the met to 2 BPM, then 64 BPM, the lowest factor of 2 that I could set my met to, would make the same feel, albeit at a faster tempo. I could play 2 BPM to 64 BPM. Just hit every 32 clicks. I believe this to be mathematically sound. Yea that's really slow to play, but just go with it. That's not the main point. I guess I should qualify this by saying that in my mind, each tempo has a corresponding feel to it. Fast or slow, there is a unique feel, particular to that tempo, and factors (not multiples) of that tempo.

Taking this one step further, I decided to calculate every BPM from 2 to 39, even the odd numbers, just to see what it would reveal. I took every single number from 2 to 39 and factored it until it registered over 40. Cutting to the chase, what I came up with is.......TADA! 19 basic tempos. There are only 19 tempos. Every other tempo is just a multiple of the 19. Almost. Close enough for all intents and purposes. When you get to 81 and 82 BPM, they don't halve perfectly with corresponding tempos, but in my mind it's splitting hairs. 81, or 82... feels close enough to 40, 83 feels close enough to 42, and so on.

Pretty cool yes? No?

What do you think? 19 basic tempos? Am I mental?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I am a little confused...nothing new but I found this under a search for Tempo;


This set of tempo cards is used throughout Music Mind Games in beginning through advanced games to teach students (ages 6 - adult) about the various tempos used in musical compositions. There is a card for each of the eleven basic tempos: Largo, Lento, Adagio, Andante, Andantino, Moderato, Allegretto, Allegro, Vivace, Presto and Prestissimo. A guide card, which shows the order of tempos, a card on teaching tempos symmetrically and five games makes this a very complete set for learning tempos. Each set of tempo cards has two cards for each of the eleven tempos since many games use two sets of cards.

These are only names and not metro variables so I guess you are correct in your research.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
you are absolutely mental Larry....no doubt about it

but I dig it
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You said you could at 64 but it bottoms out at 40. So would the 40 which is divisible by 2 change this.??? Set it at 40 and hit every 20 ticks, Yes???
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Umm I didn't think of that John..... I said validate lol...That still has no bearing on the 19 unique feels. That's the gist.

The Italians I suppose consolidated it further and grouped a certain range of BPM's as one. Their way is easier I guess. Nevermind. Carry on. Sorry.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well Larry, basically all you've done is re-discovered Prime numbers, and applied it to tempo, but instead of dividing, you're multiplying and averaging out some of the higher numbers.

And while there are (in theory) an infinite number of prime numbers, the ones that would be useful to us would be these

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101, 103, 107, 109, 113, 127, 131, 137, 139, 149, 151.

Then then with modern computers, you can sub-divide each tempo in fractions.

Once a guy sent me track, and I could not sync it up. So I finally asked what tempo it was at, and the answer was something like 120.75 or something crazy like that. Why? I don't know.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Once a guy sent me track, and I could not sync it up. So I finally asked what tempo it was at, and the answer was something like 120.75 or something crazy like that. Why? I don't know.
Can you actually feel a difference of 0.25 bpm in a tempo as opposed to play it at 121 bpm?

I know it would take about 4 quarter notes to be a full bpm behind the nearest full value tempo, but in terms of feel for a song? Can it makes that much difference?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's a curious feeling to think you're a Newton one minute and Neumann the next minute. That's OK. Embarrassing myself in public is what I do. Ian, Good stuff. The prime numbers thing makes perfect sense.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Can you actually feel a difference of 0.25 bpm in a tempo as opposed to play it at 121 bpm?

I know it would take about 4 quarter notes to be a full bpm behind the nearest full value tempo, but in terms of feel for a song? Can it makes that much difference?
I got an app for that!
 

Nuka

Senior Member
If you're playing at 121 and lost a beat off the last bar each round you'd sure notice it... it's like trying to play 5:4 or something.

And as for the basic tempos this is awesome.

I got my head around it. Of course you could play 2BPM and match it straight down to 30.

The thing is it's Beats Per Minute. Not per minute and 4 seconds. So work on 60 and divide it down.

2 and 30
3 and 20
4 and 15 (one beat every 15 seconds)
5 and 12
6 and 10
8 and 7.5 (now this is where it would get tricky).

When you start getting down to the half seconds we could cut the last bar in half or play two minute groups.

Or go back to your 40BPM base and have

2 and 20
4 and 10
8 and 5

Ah maths. How we love thee.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Do you have a medical marijuana card?
Medical bath salt card.

Hit a stroke, step into the kitchen and pour a cocktail, take a sip and be back in plenty of time for the next one? :)
I'd be really impressed if you could do this accurately. The difficulty with slower tempo clicks is that you really have to keep accurate time by yourself.

Frankly, I think 1 BPM needs a little recognition, here.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Larry ...I love ya,but I gotta ask...have you been indulging in the main subject matter of the first Cheech and Chong album?Peace my brother from another mother.:)

Steve B
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If you're playing at 121 and lost a beat off the last bar each round you'd sure notice it... it's like trying to play 5:4 or something.

And as for the basic tempos this is awesome.

I got my head around it. Of course you could play 2BPM and match it straight down to 30.

The thing is it's Beats Per Minute. Not per minute and 4 seconds. So work on 60 and divide it down.

2 and 30
3 and 20
4 and 15 (one beat every 15 seconds)
5 and 12
6 and 10
8 and 7.5 (now this is where it would get tricky).

When you start getting down to the half seconds we could cut the last bar in half or play two minute groups.

Or go back to your 40BPM base and have

2 and 20
4 and 10
8 and 5

Ah maths. How we love thee.
If you are playing this slow you don't need a metronome but a watch.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
If you're playing at 121 and lost a beat off the last bar each round you'd sure notice it... it's like trying to play 5:4 or something.
Well that's the theory, my take is that a drummer playing along to click can have fluctuation within the tempo, in other threads, it has been said using the "In Search of the Click Track" web site that a drummer can vary the tempo up to 10 bpm in some cases, and at best achieve a 97% plot, so to be 0.25 bpm out and giving a + - 1 bpm throughout a song, it will probably go totally unoticed.

Here's an exemple, the mighty Billy Cobham playing Mirage, with a 97% accuracy, when you listen to the song, you don't notice the variations, but there's drop in tempo up to - 2 bpm.

The song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An6ae_3-DCs

The Plot: http://labs.echonest.com/click/?songId=SOCPXYM12A8C143BEF&artist=Billy+Cobham&title=Mirage
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Larry, funny thing, before clicking I figured the subject matter would be too advanced for me ... your playing has leapt ahead in leaps and bounds since I've been here.

However, it appears that you have leapt so far that you're now off the precipice. Enjoy the trip down - be sure not to bump into too many believers in supernatural agents, crystals, touters of homoeopathic remedies and economic rationalists ...

To clarify: are you saying that if you have 19 tempos then those 19 will have at least one equivalent tempo (eg. via subdivision) of every tempo possible? It sounds like a mathematical exercise and I can't see a practical application ... ?

Playing one note every 30 seconds would be a head trip - trying to maintain timing with no stimulus at all. If you have the discipline to do it (I don't), I expect you'll improve your time and get a nice little meditation session in there as well.

Yes, each tempo has its own personality, as does each beat - although I think each beat has a certain tempo range where it's optimal. Theoretically you should be able to adjust the feel and tones of just about beat at any tempo and get it sounding good but for practical application most tempos are between adagio and allegro (approx 60 to 160).

Dr Anon prescribes 3 days off the choof and then to do a MENSA test cos they may be the only ones likely to understanding the deeper recesses of your mind ;-)
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Hahaha. This is exactly the kind of thing I always wind up doing. I overthink everything.

Larry, I love it. I thought about how this is basically about prime numbers, too, but I see someone beat me to the punch. Totally my kind of thing.
 
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