What does allegro mean in music?

Find out all you need to know about the term allegro.

What does allegro mean in music?
Published: June 28, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Allegro is Italian for ‘lively’ or ‘cheerful’ and it’s a term used on musical scores to indicate that the piece should be played at a relatively fast pace and in a bright and merry manner. It’s a similar term to vivace, which also means ‘lively’.

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How fast is allegro?

Different tempos are measured in beats per minute (BPM), and allegro is typically marked on a metronome as having between 120-168 BPM. This is slightly faster than allegretto (moderately fast), which itself is a little faster than moderato (moderate or medium).

A piece’s tempo shouldn’t be confused with its time signature, which indicates how many beats are included in a bar (or measure), whereas the tempo tells musicians how fast or slow those beats should be.

Examples of allegro

From the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata in C Major to the fourth movement of Pescetti’s Sonata No 8 in C, there are plenty of examples of classical pieces played with an allegro tempo.

Top image: Getty Images

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