I Learned Something About Tempos

My piece started at q=75 Andante. Towards the end I added q=65 Slower.

A bar later, I put a tempo, expecting it to go back to 75, but it stayed at 65. Why? Because Dorico thought a tempo cancelled a relative change like rit. or accel. What it wanted me to do was to put tempo primo.

That is completely fine, but something I never encountered before. I always read a tempo as “go back to original tempo,” not “go back to last absolute tempo.”

This is not a question or a problem: just something unexpected and something you may need to know.

I’ve only ever used a tempo to follow a gradual change, meaning resume the earlier tempo. To go back to the original tempo I use Tempo I, which you can enter in the popover and it will be correctly interpreted.


A tempo means “in time”, as in, resume the tempo of the music. Alternative way is L’istesso Tempo. Tempo I is equal to Tempo Primo, and Tempo II, III will be surely straight forward.
This kinda reminds me of my piano teacher tried to correct me that an accidental or natural change affected the pitch in all octaves, I was confused.

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(not wishing to discuss linguistics) I disagree. That simply implies the same tempo. Used when time signatures change and the underlying pulse remains the same.


True, I forgot about that.