pls check behavior of a tempo after time sig change

the music has the following tempo/timesig scheme

start 4/4, q=110 (bps=110)
change to 12/8, q=q. (bps goes to 165)
poco rit (bps drops to 124)
a tempo. (bps returns to 110 bps). :confused:

I would’ve expected it to return to 165. It is returning to the earlier 4/4 setting; shouldn’t it return to the 12/8 setting ?

using elements


“A tempo” doesn’t yet do that correctly. It’s a known limitation and will be addressed in the future.

When it encounters “a tempo”, Dorico returns to the last immediate tempo, not to the last tempo equation.

doesn’t a tempo mean return to the tempo prior to the rit ?

Yes, that’s how I always learned it.

Arg, sorry. I was relying on my memory (never a good idea) and conflated it with this issue:

If the tempo tool in Play mode isn’t touched, “a tempo” works correctly. My mistake.

hmm, then I don’t think it works correctly. In my OP example, it did not return to the correct (prior to the rit) tempo.
It should’ve returned to the 12/8 (bps=165) setting, not the 4/4, 110 bps setting.

Shouldn’t you notate Tempo I if you want to go back to the first tempo after having used another tempo in 12/8? Even though you used the q=q. In a written score I would have written Tempo I

The problem is that in general “a tempo” returns to whatever tempo the composer thought it should return to. And sometimes, the performer has to guess which one was intended when it’s not musically obvious.

Sometimes it doesn’t “return to a tempo” at all - it’s just an careless notation for “IN tempo.”

Andre is right !
I tried Tempo I and got what I expected. I guess Dorico forces you to use the terms properly :slight_smile:

Well, what is “properly” in this case?
I learned that “a tempo” means “the tempo we had before a rit. (for example)”. So why does dorico use the tempo that was not only befor the rit. but also before the last tempo change that came with the change in meter?
Going back to the 4/4 tempo while still being in 12/8 just makes no sense from a musical point of view.

Estigy, does this not answer your question?

Yes, it does, but I object to it :wink:

A tempo equation (especially when changing from simple meter to compound meter) results in a tempo change.

4/4 with q=60 means 60 bpm
6/8 with q=q means 90 bpm
I do not see why an “a tempo” after a “rit.” then should set back the tempo to 60 bpm (while still in 6/8 meter) in ANY case.

I think there is either a typo or a math error there.

If I saw “q=q” between 4/4 and 6/8 in a score I would wonder (1) if it’s a typo and/or (2) if whoever wrote it really understood time signatures. Of course “e=e” is clear and straightforward to understand, if you do want the literal meaning of “q=q”.

I’m with Rob on this one. Seeing “6/8” along with “q=q” would send me into a spiral of math anxiety, regardless of the fact that it’s a tautology.

Dan, I tied myself in a knot with that only a couple of days ago, with a Scarlatti sonata that alternated sections in 3/8 (1 beat in a bar) and cut time.

It was “obvious” what the tempo relationship was supposed to be when playing it, but it took me a while to figure out that it was mathematically an 8th in 3/8 = a quarter in cut time.

I got hung up trying to work out what the equivalent of the dotted quarter beat in 3/8 was!

Rob, you are perfectly right, I got it wrong :wink:

What I meant was e=e, which basically means that beat-subdivision stays the same tempo, but the real beats do change.
So 4/4 with q=90 will become q.=60 after 6/8 with e=e. (I hope this time it’s right.)

And if there is a short “rit.” 60 bars into the 6/8 section, I would certainly not expect it tor return to q=90 after an “a tempo”, which is what the OP experienced.

yes, that is the issue.
I also had thought “a tempo” was the correct term, but dorico required “Tempo I” to get what I expected the play back to be (how I would’ve played it).
I really don’t know who is right.