Jim fekete 2010-05-28 04:05:56
Simple question here. The tempo of Beethoven’s “Fuer Elise” is shown as
“Poco Moto”, which translates into “little motion”. What’s that got to
do with tempo? 😉 How should i interpret that?
Betsy 2010-05-28 04:06:00
Think forward line and long phrases instead of vertical harmonies.
It basically could be translated “not too slow & drawn out” or “lay off the
sugar” (as most people play it too romanticized!)
Don a. gilmore 2010-05-28 04:06:08
“Poco” in music would better be translated as “a little”, meaning
‘somewhat’, rather than just “little”, which seems to imply smallness. I
would interpret “poco moto” as indicating a tempo somewhere around
It’s known that Beethoven was perplexed by the meaning of “andantino” and he
usually avoided its use. He considered it an ambiguous marking since it is
not intuitively clear whether andantino means “faster than andante” or
“slower than andante”. The “-ino” suffix simply indicates “more andante”.
Since andante is a relatively medium-to-slow tempo in music, one might
interpret it as “more slowness”, just as you might interpret “largissimo”.
So I guess its translation depends on whether you consider andante (walking
pace) a relatively slow activity or that more andante means more (faster)
In modern music andantino is considered to be a little faster than andante.
Hope this helps.
Simon goss 2010-05-29 02:11:40
There is a difference between “poco”, which means “not very”, and “un
poco” (or un po’) which means “somewhat”. “Poco moto” really means “not
very fast” (loose translation because “moto” is difficult to translate
You appear to have conflated “-ino”, which is a diminutive suffix, with
“-issimo”, the superlative suffix.
Here is the definition of Andantino from the Concise Oxford Dictionary
“A diminution of andante. Unfortunately, some composers use it
meaning a little slower than andante, and others use it as
meaning a little quicker. (If a performer, use your own
judgement; if a composer, avoid the ambiguous term.)”
UK Go Challenge for schools, Summer term 2004
James king 2010-05-29 02:12:06
That’s because -ino can mean something like “half as,” so half as slow
is even slower still, or “not quite as,” so not quite as slow is a
If a composer chooses to use the term, s/he should also include a
metronome marking for reference.
And that’s the James King Version!
Ipgrunt 2010-05-29 02:12:53
For me, this means it must have life, have motion. But don’t rush it.
As Betsy says, it cannot be overly dramatised, drawn out. It must be light,
free, but have some drive.
Yyz 2010-05-29 02:13:04
< good stuff as ever from jk, even the "half as(***)" ref, deleted >
newly-revized .. ? would explain your absence/s – been buzy editting 🙂
warmest greetings, james! trusting that you/yours are well .. stay so!
Jim fekete 2010-05-29 02:13:41
Hey, thanks to you and Betsy for that. It makes some sense to me, as it
is easy to fall into playing it in a dramatic way. I guess you could
also say that the tempo/dynamics should be somewhat consistent through
the arpeggiated sections (the interruptions are a whole nother deal, and
a different post! 😉
Jim fekete 2010-05-29 02:13:43
And THAT’s why its so refreshing to come home from an engineering job
and play piano! (seriously, not being facecious here!)