Concepts of music - duration -tempo

Students will explore the Italian terms of Lento, Andante, Moderato, Allegro and Presto.

Duration

3 lessons

Focus

Internalising a beat

Overview

There are many different Italian terms used to describe speed in music. So as not to overwhelm students, focus on 5. In this lesson sequence we will focus on Lento, Andante, Moderato, Allegro and Presto.

Outcomes

Stage 4

A student:

  • 4.1 performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts
  • 4.4 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising
  • 4.12 demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

Stage 5

A student:

  • 5.1 performs repertoire with increasing levels of complexity in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of the musical concepts
  • 5.12 demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness


copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Students will research the definition of the 5 core Italian duration terms. They will then learn to internalise the beat and identify these terms, by:

  • walking in time to the beat of 5 different tempos (life skills activity)
  • playing a game that identifies 5 different tempos
  • performing the first 8 bars of Beethoven's Ode to Joy in time with a metronome, using 5 different tempos
  • completing a worksheet of real-life scenarios and relating them to Italian words describing tempo (extension activity).

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

  • Information and communication technology
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Literacy and numeracy

Students will research the definition and approximate bpm (beats per minute) of each of the 5 core Italian terms:

  • Lento - slowly, 45 to 60bpm
  • Andante - at a walking pace, 76 to 108bpm
  • Moderato - at a moderate speed, 108 to 120bpm
  • Allegro - fast and lively, 120 to 168bpm
  • Presto - very fast, 128 to 200bpm

Movement

Students will walk to the beat of pieces in different tempos. The following pieces are suggested as examples :

Game

Students will listen to an excerpt of a piece of music and then move to the corresponding tempo term. The 5 Italian terms can be printed as individual signs and placed around the room. The following pieces are suggested as examples:

Scenarios

Students will relate given scenarios to Italian terms for tempo. The terms on the tempo worksheet (PDF 4.27MB) include expressive techniques that manipulate the concept of duration (in this case, tempo).

Performing skills activity

Students will perform the first 8 bars of Beethoven's Ode to Joy in the different tempos, using a metronome as an indicator of speed.

A metronome may be accessible on keyboards, as a free app, a website or on YouTube. This task can also be done as a whole class activity with the pulse amplified through speakers. The music for this exercise can be downloaded for keyboard (PDF 4.44 MB) and tablature for guitar (PDF 4.35MB) and bass guitar (PDF 4.35MB).

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:


Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

  • LS 1 a student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music.

copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • participate in the movement activity by physically moving all or part of the body
  • hit a drum or other percussion instrument in response to different tempos.

Evaluate

Feedback is formative during the lessons. Students will successfully internalise the beat by moving or playing in time with different tempos and use correct Italian terms to identify tempos.

Reference list and resources

  • Music 7-10 Syllabus copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.
  • Ode to Joy keyboard and voice music (PDF 4.44MB)
  • Ode to Joy guitar tablature (PDF 4.35MB)
  • Ode to Joy bass guitar tablature (PDF 4.35MB)
  • Tempo scenarios worksheet (PDF 4.35MB)

Tempo example videos

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