What is a metronome?
Traditionally, a metronome is a mechanical device that is pyramid-shaped and features a pendulum. The speed the pendulum sways from side to side is adjusted by moving the weight on a rod up or down.
I met a gnome (metronome) swinging on a metronome.
Below is a detailed picture of a traditional mechanical metronome powered like a clock using a wind-up key.
If the weight on the rod is adjusted to the top then the pendulum slows down to 40 beats per minute. If it is moved downwards it can click to as fast as 208 beats per minute.
The metronome is used by musicians to follow a set pace using ticking sounds. The metronome is set to tick to the figure given on most sheet music:
In the above song, we need to set the metronome to 120 beats per minute.
There are now many digital metronomes and devices on the market place – usually a small rectangular box driven by batteries.
The purpose of a metronome is to teach a musician to keep in line with the timing of the tempo of the music.