Cycles per minute

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Cycles per minute (abbreviation TPM ; english measures per minute , abbreviation mpm ) is preferably used in German-speaking countries Tempomaß for ballroom dancing .

Statement and calculation

The tempo indication " x TPM" means that x bars of a piece of music can be heard within one minute . The TPM measure is usually determined by counting the number of bars heard over a period of 15 seconds and multiplying this number by 4.

Example: The song If You Do not Know Me By Now by Simply Red is a Waltz in 3 / 4 -stroke , ie a clock includes three strokes. If you listen to the piece for 15 seconds, you count about 9 bars . This number is multiplied by 4 and the result is the speed in TPM: 36 cycles per minute .


The measure TPM is sometimes flawed when it comes to tempo markings to pieces in 2 / 4 is -Stroke. Although the measure is music theory considered correct, but it also happens that these pieces as such in the 4 / 4 -Stroke be treated. The result is TPM numbers that are only half what they should be.

Example: The piece of music La Cumparsita of Gerardo Matos Rodríguez is a Tango Argentino in 2 / 4 ¯ clock, i.e. a clock comprises two punches. If you count the bars for 15 seconds, you get about 16. This number is now multiplied by 4 and you get the actual result: 64 bars per minute. Instead, however, the described practice counts only every other clock - always combines two 2 / 4 -Takte to a 4 / 4 -Stroke together - and comes only 8 bars in 15 seconds; multiplied by 4 results in: 32 bars per minute , which corresponds to the average tempo of a tango.

To avoid misunderstandings, the tempo measure beats per minute is used , which is completely independent of the time signature .