List of ascending Italian Tempo Terms with BPM

As you are probably aware, getting clear on exactly how fast to play when you see an Italian term is not straightforward. Tempo terminology is not an exact science as the metronome was not even invented till 1812 and many of the terms you need to understand date from before that.

Still, there is a rough (ROUGH!) hierarchy to the standard italian tempos and I have done my best to lay a list of italian tempo terms with BPM in ascending order. Each section gets faster as you go down the page.

These leave out all the tempo modifiers like ‘meno’ (less) and ‘molto’ (more) which qualify tempo even more.

40 – 60 bpm

  • larghissimo
  • adagissimo
  • lentissimo
  • grave
  • largo
  • adagio
  • lento
  • larghetto
  • adagietto

60 – 120 bpm

  • andante
  • andantino
  • moderato
  • allegretto

120 – 200 bpm

  • allegro
  • vivace
  • vivo
  • presto