A metronome is any device that produces a regulated aural, visual or tactile pulse to establish a steady tempo in the performance of music. It is a useful practice tool for musicians that dates back to the early 19th century.
The word metronome first appeared in English c.1815 and is Greek in origin:
metron = measure, nomos = regulating
Ludwig van Beethoven was the first notable composer to indicate specific metronome markings in his music, in 1817.
One common type of metronome is the mechanical metronome which uses an adjustable weight on the end of a pendulum (also known as a double-weighted pendulum) rod to control the tempo: The weight is slid up the pendulum rod to decrease tempo, or down to increase tempo. The pendulum swings back and forth in tempo, while a mechanism inside the metronome produce a clicking sound with each oscillation.
Most modern metronomes are electronic and use a quartz crystal to maintain accuracy, comparable to those used in wristwatches. The simplest electronic metronomes have a dial or buttons to control the tempo; some also produce tuning notes, usually around the range of A440 (440 hertz). Sophisticated metronomes can produce two or more distinct sounds. Tones can differ in pitch, volume, and/or timbre to demarcate downbeats from other beats, as well as compound and complex time signatures.
Many electronic musical keyboards have built-in metronome functions.
Metronomes now exist in software form, either as stand alone applications or often in music sequencing and audio multitrack software packages. In recording studio applications, such as film scoring, a software metronome is often used to generate a click track to synchronize musicians.
10 of the best:
Digital Credit Card / Digital Metronome Features Convenient take-along credit card size Visual LCD Simple 4-button operation Tempo Range: 30 – 250 times/min. 10 visual and audible beat settings Reference Note: A–440Hz for tuning Earphonek: Monophonic, 2.5mm (0.1″) plug (earphone not included) Memory of last setting Accuracy Metronome: ±0.03% …
Wittner Metronome – Mahogany-coloured, matte – With Bell Christmas Stocking Filler Gift Ideas Mahogany coloured matt silk finish. With bell.
Plastic Case Traditional Shape Wind Up Mechanism Swinging Pendulum Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Audible Click (with bell – 4 beat settings) Dimensions 117 x 220 x 117mm
Wittner Metronome Mälzel – Walnut-coloured, Matte – With Bell Caring for the Exterior of Your Instrument Make sure to use a polishing cloth to remove dust and fingerprints after…
A quartz metronome with built in tone generator, features two tempo sounds & a dynamic speaker for high quality sound. Tempo: 40-208 Tone Generator: A4, Bb Pitch Shift: A4=440Hz Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
A pocket-sized digital metronome with built in clock. Also features a tone generator. Tempo: 30-250 Tone Generator: C4-B4 Pitch Shift: A4=440Hz Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Christmas Stocking Filler Gift Ideas A clip-style compact digital metronome with built in clock. Tempo: 30-250 Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Other: 4 levels of volume Silver finish
Specifications Quartz Metronome Wooden Case Traditional Shape Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Visual Pulse Signal Audible Click Volume Control
Modern Classic Styling Silver or Gilded Facia, Pendulum and Winder Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Audible Click Dimensions 85 x 155 x 50mm Weight 177g
A metronomical performance is certainly tiresome and nonsensical; time and rhythm must be adapted to and identified with the melody, the harmony, the accent and the poetry…..—Franz Liszt