Top 30 Adjectives for Tempo (Negative & Positive Words)

Tempo sets the mood in music. Too fast or too slow, the tempo can make or break a composition. Dive into adjectives that aptly describe various tempos.

Description of Tempo

Tempo refers to the speed or pace at which a musical piece is played.

Words to Describe Tempo

Here are the 30 most common words to describe Tempo;

  • Allegro
  • Andante
  • Presto
  • Lento
  • Adagio
  • Moderato
  • Vivace
  • Accelerando
  • Ritardando
  • Rallentando
  • Larghetto
  • Grave
  • Allegretto
  • Adagietto
  • Rubato
  • Forte
  • Maestoso
  • Furioso
  • Pesante
  • Scherzando
  • Languid
  • Brisk
  • Relaxed
  • Rushed
  • Sluggish
  • Animated
  • Stately
  • Sprightly
  • Steady
  • Erratic

Positive Words to Describe Tempo

  1. Allegro
  2. Vivace
  3. Moderato
  4. Animated
  5. Sprightly
  6. Brisk
  7. Steady
  8. Languid
  9. Relaxed
  10. Scherzando

Negative Words to Describe Tempo

  1. Sluggish
  2. Erratic
  3. Rushed
  4. Pesante
  5. Furioso
  6. Grave
  7. Heavy
  8. Dragging
  9. Plodding
  10. Hasty

Adjectives for Tempo (Meanings and Example Sentences)


  • Meaning: Quick and lively
  • The song had an allegro beat, uplifting us.


  • Meaning: Lively and fast
  • The concerto started with a vivace movement.


  • Meaning: Moderate speed
  • The moderato pace allowed for easy listening.


  • Meaning: Slow and lacking energy
  • The music felt sluggish and unenergetic.


  • Meaning: Unpredictably varied in speed
  • The erratic tempo confused the dancers.


  • Meaning: Too fast, hurried
  • The rushed pace made it hard to follow.


  • Meaning: Slow and relaxed
  • We enjoyed the languid rhythm of the song.


  • Meaning: Full of life or excitement
  • The animated tempo made everyone dance.


  • Meaning: Unchanging, consistent speed
  • The drummer kept a steady beat throughout.


  • Meaning: Playful, joking manner
  • The scherzando section lightened the mood.

How to Describe Tempo in writing?

When describing tempo in writing, focus on the pace and energy it adds to a piece. Use specific terms that convey the speed, intensity, and mood. The chosen words should give readers a clear sense of the rhythm and how it contributes to the overall feel of the music.


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