Decluttering sample (0:53)

What its about

Getting rid of stuff

A slow sparse(ish) rocker

How it was written

What started as another experiment in minimalism - how to make a simple song with just three instruments - got sidetracked as usual. This time into tempo: is there a right beat for a song?

Four bars at the default tempo 80bpm (0:06)
Decluttering at 80bpm
Same tempo different rhythm (0:00)
Decluttering at 160bpm

Hm. How slow does a tune have to be before it becomes undanceable?

And so to the web: its marvellous what you can learn. Ever heard of tactus? Its a rhythmic unit used in mediaeval music, another word for "beat". Want to know what a tempo curve is and why its considered harmful? Have a look at the research done by the Music Cognition Group at the University of Amsterdam

Of course, nobody knows what the right tempo is or should be for a piece of music. Or, rather, there are lots of different theories. One interesting point is that some musicians, mainly classical, believe that tempo is not a given, but is derived from the structure of the music. This marks one of the big differences between classical and rock music - classical music is meant to be listened to, not danced to; rock music is written for listening and for dancing. You cant dance to classical music if the tempo varies. Small tempo changes are OK, as is speeding up over a long period of time, but regular tempo changes and dancing aint compatible

Finally, just so you know, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (what a lovely name) in its Freestyle Disco syllabus, recommends the following: