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Free Online Metronome

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S
L
Not Real Metronome Tempo
Press the spacebar to start/stop
v 2.0
METRONOME MODE ?
strict
loose
FLASH MODE ?
button
screen
ACCENT ?
Down
Up
4 Beats per Cycle
Move the slider below to define your cycle:
Define your accents with the buttons below:
1 2 3 4
TEMPO TAPPER ?
Tap 4 beats with the letter T on your keyboard, or click the button on the left. The metronome then will start or change accordingly the tempo.



pause play pauseor pausegr tapper tapperho

Basic Instructions

  1. Start and Stop the metronome by clicking on the Play button or by pressing the spacebar on your keyboard.
  2. Change the tempo by either moving the metronome slider weight up or down, or by entering any custom value (bpm) in the tempo field, then hit the enter button on your keyboard. You can also select a tempo marking from the tempo markings dropdown menu.
  3. That's all there is to it! To do even more, read the Advanced Instructions below...



Advanced Instructions

  1. The metronome has two different working modes: strict and loose. The "strict" mode shows only the "real" metronome tempos; that is, the tempo values you can find on a real, physical metronome, ranging from 40 bpm (beats per minute) to 208 bpm. The loose mode, instead, allows you to define any tempo value from 40 bpm to 400 bpm. You can switch between modes with the Metronome Mode switch.
  2. The Flash Mode switch (available in newer browsers only*) allows you to change the display of the beat. By default, the metronome flashes the play button (button mode). In screen mode, the metronome will flash the entire screen. Screen Mode is especially useful in conjunction with the "muted" sound (see point below), when you'd rather the sound of the metronome not be a disturbance (i.e., during a recording, performance, etc.).
  3. Define where you want the accent to be played with the Accent control. For example, if you are playing a piece with a 4/4 time signature, you may want to set the metronome to 4, which is the default value. This simply means that every 4 beats, you'll get an accent. If, however, you are playing a 3/4 time signature piece, you may want to set the metronome to the value of 3 (every 3 beats, you'll get an accent). You can also select "Cycle" to set your own cycle of accents! (available in newer browsers only*)
  4. The Sound buttons (available in newer browsers only*) allow you to change the metronome sounds accordingly, or to mute the sound completely (useful in conjunction with the screen Flash Mode mentioned above).
  5. The Tempo Tapper allows you to define a custom tempo by either tapping or clicking on the button itself with your mouse, or by defining your tempo with the letter T on your keyboard. Just define 4 beats, and the metronome will follow you at your defined tempo. Please note that if you are in strict mode and you define a tempo that is not a "real" metronome tempo, the metronome will automatically switch to "loose" mode.

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Tempo Markings


The terms for popular music tempo markings come from the Italian language. You are probably wondering: Why is this the case? Well, at the time the tempo indications were defined in the 17th and 18th centuries, the most popular composers were Italian (Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, and many more).

As you'll notice, the indications below are not standardized, and always subject to interpretation. This is what makes music an art and not a perfect science. The interpretation of a score starts from the tempo marking found at the beginning of the score, and the legend below may help you to better understand those markings and how you might interpret them.

Here is a list of the most common tempo markings with English translation and bpm ranges for your reference:


Slow Tempos:

Larghissimo - In Italian, this literally means "very wide," and in music, "larghissimo" means a very slow tempo. Even though regular metronomes start from 40 bpm, Larghissimo may mean an even slower tempo, as low as 24 bpm or even less.


Grave - in Italian, this means "heavy and solemn," and it also defines a very slow tempo, usually faster than Larghissimo. On a metronome, a Grave tempo ranges from 40 to 60 bpm.


Largo - In Italian, its meaning is "wide," and as you may notice, largo still refers to a "slow" tempo. On a metronome, it shares the same tempo range as Grave, with a range of 40-60 bpm. Which one to use is usually up to the composer!


Lento - This word litterally means "slow" in Italian, even though in music this tempo is a little bit faster than Grave or Largo. Lento ranges between 45-60 bpm on a metronome.


Adagio - Similar to Lento, Adagio means "slow," but is more specifically defined as "slowly and easily." Think of Adagio as a Lento tempo with a little bit more flexibility. Its range, in fact, is between 55 and 76 bpm, and can vary a great deal between metronomes.


Moderate Tempos:

Larghetto - This marking is definitively faster than Largo, and in Italian, larghetto means something like "a little wide." Its range is usually between 60 and 66 bpm on a metronome (some metronomes don't even show this marking and use Adagio instead).


Adagietto - This tempo is similar to the Adagio tempo, but with a "lighter" meaning, which results in a faster-paced tempo. On a metronome, Adagietto usually falls between 66 and 76 bpm.


Andante - From the Italian verb "andare," which means "going," Andante expresses the feeling of "movement," thus a faster tempo than all the previous ones. Andante is often used in music to differentiate a "slow" piece from a "faster" piece (not too fast though!). On a metronome, Andante ranges between 72 and 108 bpm.


Andantino - This tempo is usually a little faster than Andante, even though it can also be interpreted as "slower" than Andante. On a Metronome, it usually ranges between 80 and 108 bpm.


Maestoso - In Italian, this word means "majestic," and its pace is not too slow but not fast (think about it like a slow march). This tempo marking is not always found on metronomes, but it can often be found in music. Its range is usually between 88 and 92 bpm.


Moderato - From the Italian for "moderate," this is the most common tempo marking in music. It is right in the middle of the metronome and it is often associated with the value of 100 bpm. Despite that its range can actually be between 93 and 120 bpm.


Allegretto - From the Italian for "pretty happy," it is the first tempo on the metronome that can be considered "fast," but not too fast of course. On metronomes, Allegretto can range between 104 and 132 bpm.


Fast Tempos:

Animato - From the Italian for "with movement," this tempo is not found on all metronomes, but it is often indicated on scores. It can range between 120 and 131 bpm.


Allegro - From the Italian for "happy," this is the superstar of the tempo markings, and is very often found in music, denoting a fast-moving pace. On a metronome, it can range between 120 and 168 bpm, even though its most common tempo is set to 120 bpm.


Allegro Assai - From the Italian for "very happy," it is usually faster than Allegro, with a bpm ranging between 144 and 168. It actually overlaps with the standard Allegro, but if found on a score where an Allegro is also set, it is sure to be faster.


Vivace - From the Italian for "lively," it is usually faster than Allegro, and on a metronome, it ranges between 160 and 183 bpm.


Vivacissimo - From the Italian for "very lively," it is not always found on metronomes, but denotes a tempo faster than . Similar to Allegro Assai, it overlaps with the standard Vivace, and on a metronome, can range between 172 and 183 bpm.


Presto - From the Italian for "fast, quick," it is a very fast paced tempo, ranging between 168 and 200 bpm. Presto can overlap with Vivace and Vivacissimo.


Prestissimo - From the Italian for "very fast," it is at the top speed of the metronome, with a bpm over 200.



In music repertoire, you can also find combinations of the above markings such as Allegro Vivace or Allegro Moderato, denoting combinations of different (but similar) tempos.

It is important to understand that, despite the overlap of some tempo markings in terms of bpm ranges, we have tried to distill the most common tempos for each one in the metronome we are presenting on this page.

If you have any questions or need any help to understand this chart, please post your questions in the comments section below.

Glossary


Accent - The accent of a bar (or measure) is usually the downbeat (the first beat, also known as "main beat"). In a piece with a 4/4 time signature, the accent occurs every 4 beats. In a piece with a 3/4 time signature, the accent occurs every 3 beats, and so on.


Bar or Measure - A bar (or measure) is composed of multiple beats. Bars in music notation are separated by "bar lines." The time signature defines how many beats are included in each measure.


Beat - The beat is the basic unit of a measure, or bar. For example, if a piece of music has a 4/4 time signature (or C - compound time signature), there are measures of 4 beats each. The first beat of each measure is called the "downbeat" (also known as "main beat").


bpm - Beats Per Minute. This is the number of beats in a minute of music, and it is the number displayed on any metronome. A bpm of 60 means 60 beats in a minute (1 beat every second). A bpm of 120 means 120 beats per minute, which corresponds to 2 beats per second.


Common Time - The Common Time (marked with C at the beginning of a music staff) is the same as the 4/4 time signature.


Pick-up Notes (upbeats or anacrusis) - One or more notes that precede the first downbeat in a bar.


Rhythm - The rhythm is defined by how the notes are put in succession over time. Music usually has regular patterns of rhythm, and in notation, rhythm is organized through the use of time signature and bars.


Tempo - From the Italian for time, it is the speed or pace of a piece of music. The higher the tempo, the faster the piece. The lower the tempo, the slower the piece.


Time Signature - It is notated at the beginning of the staff, right after the clef, and specifies how many beats are in each measure and which note value constitutes one beat.


Brief History of the Metronome


Even the metronome, a simple device used by millions of musicians, is not without its storied past, colorful characters, and controversies.

The word "metronome" comes from the Greek: "metron," meaning "measure," and "nomos," meaning "regulating." This, then, is a perfect label for a device that musicians, composers, and recording engineers can set to audibly beat at regular intervals as they learn, practice, and create music.

Metronomes began with the pendulum. Galileo Galilei, in the late 17th century, discovered that pendulums, regardless of length or amplitude, vibrated in the same time. Through the 17th and 18th centuries, inventors added calibrations, weights, and "escapements" to pendulums in an attempt to create a device that musicians could set to continually oscillate anywhere from 40 to 208 beats per minute ( bpm). The long pendulums needed for very slow tempi (40 - 60 bpm), however, rendered most of these early metronomes rather impractical.

In the early 19th century, Dietrik Nikolaus Winkel added double weights to the pendulum - one that remained fixed, and the other that could be slid along the rod of the pendulum to either speed up or slow down the tempo. This seemed to be the best idea yet, but unfortunately, Winkel is not the person glorified as the "inventor of the metronome."

While Winkel was developing his double-weighted device, Johann Nepemuk Maelzel, a trained musician and developer of world-famous music-making and chess-playing automatons, among other gadgets and quirky amusements, was also dabbling in metronome development. When Maelzel got wind of Winkel's double-weighted pendulum idea and realized Winkel's device was superior to his own, he met with Winkel and tried, unsuccessfully, to coax Winkel into selling him his idea. No matter - Maelzel simply added a scale to indicate where to place the weight to achieve a certain tempo, patented the device as "Maelzel's Metronome," and, today, is still credited with the invention.

Beethoven was acquainted with Maelzel, who created Several ear trumpets to help with Beethoven's mounting hearing loss. As they established somewhat of a friendly relationship, Maelzel suggested some ideas for music that Beethoven would later compose (music that Maelzel tried to pass off as his own, which, understandably, did not sit well with Beethoven). Perhaps in an attempt to patch things up with an angered Beethoven, Maelzel provided him with one of his metronomes. Some speculate, however, that some of the erratic time signatures in Beethoven's music may owe to a malfunctioning metronome, or possibly to Beethoven's improper use of a device with which he was not entirely comfortable. Regardless, Beethoven may have been one of the first composers to use a metronome in his craft.

The advent of electricity meant that metronomes could include features like flashing lights to indicate beats or beginnings of measures. With the discovery of alternating current, metronomes like the Franz Electric Metronome (1938) emerged, in which an electric motor "drives a tempo-beating hammer through a mechanical reduction." Even with electricity, improvements to and use of the pendulum-style metronome continued into the mid-to-late 20th century, including mechanisms to enable the pendulums to level themselves even if not on a flat surface, and mechanisms to prevent the escapement from jamming accidentally.

The 1970s also brought forth improvements in digital electronics, which became applicable to metronomes. As microprocessors became small and affordable, other features were added besides keeping time, like tuning notes and accented beats.

Today, computer software applications for smartphones and other devices have all but eliminated the need for pendulums or little battery-powered devices with beeps and flashing lights. Regardless, there remains controversy over whether musicians should use metronomes at all. While some raise concerns that metronomes make music sound too mechanical, others hold the metronome - whoever may have invented it - in the highest regard as an essential tool for growth and mastery in music.


Comments or Questions
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Patricia * VSM MEMBER * on June 6, 2017 @2:39 pm PST
June 6, 2017

Hi Fabrizio!

I have no excuse now for not using a metronome while I am practicing. I usually use only the tuner of all my tuners/metronomes that I store in a big drawer at home.

This VSM metronome is easy to use and this is the way I prefer to use a metronome without aggravating me and going crazy. Before I start playing, I listen to the beats for a few measures to keep this pace in my mind then, I like to put it in mute and look at the color that change indicating the first beet and blink with a different color for the rest of the beats in the same measure. I like that very much.

By the way, it works in Windows 10, with Microsoft Edge and with Mozilla Firefox browsers. All 3 different sounds and mute work perfect in my Dell computer, along with the rest of the options.

In addition, I checked in my very old Gateway computer with Windows Vista, in both, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers, and everything works without problem.

Thanks Fabrizio. I appreciate the good job you are doing by helping students to go in the right direction when practicing a musical instrument.

Patricia
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 8, 2017 @12:41 am PST
Thank you so much Patricia for your kind and informative comment! It's fantastic you could test it on different browsers and devices, and I am glad to hear it is working well everywhere.

Please, feel always free to contact me with any questions or ideas you may have, I will be glad to hear from you.

Thank you again very much!

Fabrizio
Robert Lackey * VSM MEMBER * on June 4, 2017 @10:08 am PST
Was really happy to see you are creating tools to help aspiring musicians improve their craft. I loaded up the metronome and checked it out. As I scrolled through the "sound" buttons, I was unable to mute the click. The "real" and "percussion" also sounded identical to each other. Otherwise, it appears to work really well.
I tried closing and reopening the app several times to no benefit. It's not obvious is anyone else has encountered similar issues. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 4, 2017 @6:57 pm PST
Thank you Robert for your kind comment, but I am sorry to see you are having problems with the sound controls. That's very strange and shouldn't happen. Can I ask you what browser or device you are using?
RobertL * VSM MEMBER * on June 5, 2017 @7:28 pm PST
Mr. Ferrari, I'm using a PC running Windows 10 Pro with the default MS browser.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 6, 2017 @7:42 am PST
Thank you Robert for your provided information. I guess you are using Microsoft Edge which should work just fine, but just in case you have an older version of it, could you please visit the link below and let me know what you get?

Here is the link:
https://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/agent.php

Thank you!
Mike Smith on June 4, 2017 @10:05 am PST
Excellent device!
Can we have a Download to use when not on line - that would be perfect!!
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 4, 2017 @6:56 pm PST
Thank you Mike for your comment! Glad you like the metronome. Once you load the page, it should work offline anyway.
elizalex5 * VSM MEMBER * on July 30, 2017 @6:05 am PST
Hi Fabrizio, Internet in my area is not consistent. How can I load the page in the first place when I can't get a connection? It would be better to be able to download the metronome for later use offline. There is no download button on your page at the moment.
Regards Elizabeth.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on July 31, 2017 @10:06 am PST
Hi Elizabeth and thank you for your posting. Well, if you can load the page at least once, then you should be able to use the metronome off line. I mean, the metronome is supposed to work off line anyway once loaded first. Have you tried that? Please, let me know. Thank you!
Bill Shar on May 31, 2017 @2:49 pm PST
Fantastic metronome, I am going to use it for my students right away!
Jenny Williams on May 31, 2017 @1:59 pm PST
I love this metronome!