Need a Metronome? Use Google!

Neat Google trick. If you need a metronome, use this search: Here’s what you see:

Google metronome

Click the play button to start the beat; you can alter the beat by clicking the – and + buttons. Unfortunately, you can’t set the metronome to just any beat; only the intervals that Google seems to like. So you can set it to 120 or 126, but not 128. Still, if you need a quick and easy metronome, this may come in handy.

8 thoughts on “Need a Metronome? Use Google!

  1. Didn’t know about this–thanks. As a musician, I rely on an iPhone app called Tempo–$2.99 last I checked–that not only lets me raise or lower tempo by 1 BPM increments, it lets me set time signatures (including less-common ones like 5/4), divide quarter notes into eighths or sixteenths or triplets, and designate a downbeat by a different sound… it also generates a 440 Hz tone for tuning, and probably a lot of other functionality I haven’t used. Great little app.

    • I grew up in the US; I’m pretty sure it was 440 plus another frequency, which made it usable to tune an A string.

  2. The “intervals that Google seems to like” are those found on a traditional metronome, whether the original pendulum models or later dial-based models. Most printed music that specifies a metronome marking will use this series of numbers.

    • This has been my experience too, which is one reason I take those printed markings as suggestions rather than commands. A very useful feature of the Tempo app (and I imagine similar apps that I haven’t tried) is that, once you settle on a tempo you like, you can input it to the phone which will find its numerical expression in BPM; I then pencil this into the score as an aide-mémoire for practicing.
      Some of the metronome markings in old editions of Beethoven are really extreme–a teacher told me they were added by Carl Czerny based on his memory of how Beethoven played the pieces. And I recall reading in “Stormy Applause,” by Vladimir Dubinsky, that while Shostakovich insisted on strict observance of his dynamic markings, he encouraged performers to ignore his metronome markings and use their own judgment about tempo.

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