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Hi All,

How is it that BPM of a song can be more on a piano (or any instrumental) version than the original tempo of the song, and still have the same melody? I came across different versions of instrumental rendition of a song in which tempo is much higher than the song's tempo. Shouldn't the tempo be same to sound like the original melody? I am confused.

Thanks for any explanations.


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Tempo can be deliberately varied a bit to make the piece sound different- maybe for a more romantic or a more upbeat feel, for example.

But if the same notes are being played, that’s not changing the melody. That’s what the melody is!


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97 are the BPM listed for the song, and the piano rendition is at 154, and still sounds like the song. How is that possible? Other instrumental versions are listed at 180, 174.


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The reason is acoustic. You write about songs, and it is the human voice's ability to sing a sentence legato without every sound decaying, as in the piano. The art of serial connection of two notes on the piano providing sensations a flowing melody ,is a central problem of pianism . There are a number of patents to mask this shortcoming of the piano, and one of them is increasing the tempo, which shortens the decay time of each note; which leads to fragmentation the melody into separate sounds .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWwa2soslig

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYgPw-FMHNQ

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Our brains are expert at recognising patterns and relationships. We perceive a person walking along a street 50m away from us as a walking body, and the shapes around them as houses, trees, cars, as real life sized objects, even though you can cover those objects behind your raised hand. We can recognise individuals within a distant group from their relative heights, gait and movement patterns without being able to see their features.
A melody is a specific pattern of intervals and rhythms which remain the same irrespective of the pitch on which it starts, the timbre of the instrument or voice; or the speed at which it is played/sung.
As Nahum says, increasing the tempo on the piano can help mimic the legato singing voice. But you can still recognise songs played extremely slowly as all the pitch and rhythm relationships are constant. Even if the performer introduces stylistic variation, the brain recognises the underlying pattern within the chosen tempo.
My tuppence worth as a non neuroscientist!

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Originally Posted by ManishP
97 are the BPM listed for the song, and the piano rendition is at 154, and still sounds like the song. How is that possible? Other instrumental versions are listed at 180, 174.
Don't get obsessed by numbers. They mean absolutely nothing.

For instance, a certain well-known piano piece by a contemporary composer (who passed just a few years ago) has the tempo marking "At a slow walking pace" (in English) followed by 'quarter note=60'. He made a recording of the piece a few years later, playing it at around........40 BPM. Other pianists play it even slower or slightly faster, but no-one plays it anything approaching 60 BPM. Subsequently, guitarists also took it up and have their own ideas on how fast to play it.

The bottom line is - tempo is in the eye of the beholder (including the composer) whistle.


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I have the midi of the piano version and reduced the tempo to 107 from 154...and it doesn't sound the same. Now if I have to play a piano rendition of the melody, what changes should I do to the notes in the midi that I have? Or is this question (and a possible solution) beyond my beginner level at the moment?


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Your questions are confusing. In your first two posts you seemed to be asking how a melody is recognisable even at different tempi - "97 are the BPM listed for the song, and the piano rendition is at 154, and still sounds like the song. How is that possible? Other instrumental versions are listed at 180, 174."
Now you're saying it doesn't sound the same? In what way, apart from the speed change?

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If the midi is set at 154 to sound equivalent as a piano solo, you can’t reduce that temp to 104 and make any decision about what notes to play. Learn it as written, so when the tempo is increased to the normal-sounding 154, it is full enough

It sounds like what you are doing is reducing the speed so that you can copy the score.


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Originally Posted by ManishP
I have the midi of the piano version and reduced the tempo to 107 from 154...and it doesn't sound the same. Now if I have to play a piano rendition of the melody, what changes should I do to the notes in the midi that I have? Or is this question (and a possible solution) beyond my beginner level at the moment?
Play the melody much louder than the accompaniment. (That's probably not possible on a midi, but very possible from a human player.)
The melody must always stand out above the accompaniment, like this (which also has subsidiary melodies), otherwise it sounds like a mush of chords:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=327D03P5Xxc&list=RDNSsKJIzwapA&index=4

Whether you are able to do this depends on your present level of hand and finger independence, and how complicated the music is.


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Originally Posted by ManishP
97 are the BPM listed for the song, and the piano rendition is at 154, and still sounds like the song. How is that possible? Other instrumental versions are listed at 180, 174.

What is the unit of measurement in both versions? Is the unit of measurement the same in both versions. In other words if at 97 bmp the unit of measurement is the quarter note (for example), but if the unit of measurement is the eighth note that would be at 194 bpm; yet the tempo is the same.

What you should do to resolve this rather ambiguous question is to post examples so that we know exactly what you are writing about and then help you decide if such wide deviations in tempo might be reasonable or whether it's a different question entirely.

Regards,


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I have taken a portion of sheet music from the midi file -
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_t1gMD4oxeK0XCdFi6Ux9f03Mk7_LPwG/view?usp=sharing. You will see that the BPM is set as 154.

Now the song's BPM that I have seen on https://songbpm.com/ is 97 (it is an old Hindi song). That is the reason I wondered how a song's BPM is 97 whereas piano is played at 154, sounding just like the song. If interested, the link to piano rendition is https://youtu.be/s3LX8qHDtfY.

I hope this will give some clarification.

Thanks.


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Originally Posted by ManishP
Now the song's BPM that I have seen on https://songbpm.com/ is 97 (it is an old Hindi song).

Those websites like songbpm.com are not very reliable. It's just a software detection system. Asha Bhosle's version (the one stated as 97) is really about 190-200 tempo by my estimate. But I think the software is hearing that drumbeat (corresponding to low C on the piano score) which occurs every SECOND bar. It is assuming that this beat is the start of EVERY bar, because that's how it detects tempo and does its job. So it is getting fooled into thinking that the time the performer took for two bars was really the time taken for one bar.

It knows from the music publisher that it's in 3/4 time, so the time it is assuming the 3 quarter note beats are spread out over, is actually the time for two bars instead of one. So when it calculates the tempo it will be exactly half too low. So it is stating a tempo that is only a half of what it really is (for Asha Bhosle's version anyway). That's where the 97 comes from.

If you look on songbpm there are other performance of this song where it is giving sensible numbers. Probably it managed to detect them correctly.


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Originally Posted by scirocco
Those websites like songbpm.com are not very reliable. It's just a software detection system. Asha Bhosle's version (the one stated as 97) is really about 190-200 tempo by my estimate. But I think the software is hearing that drumbeat (corresponding to low C on the piano score) which occurs every SECOND bar. It is assuming that this beat is the start of EVERY bar, because that's how it detects tempo and does its job. So it is getting fooled into thinking that the time the performer took for two bars was really the time taken for one bar.

Thank you - gives me something to think about. I will listen to the song with the drum beat pointer you have provided and try to come up with beats on my own.


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