How to Find the Beats per Minute for Music

With a stopwatch, you can determine the beats per minute in a piece of music. The beat in music refers to the basic pulse that performers and musicians use to keep the tempo and play in time. Non-musicians will recognize the beat as the steady pulse that you can dance or clap to. Finding the beat is straightforward; the method is very similar to finding your pulse. A simple formula calculates the beats per minute in a piece of music.

Step 1 Play the music. Tap your foot to the beat. Take your time finding the beat. Start the music over if you need to.

Step 2 Start your stopwatch and count the number of beats in 12 seconds. Write the number down.

Step 3 Multiply the number by five to get the beats per minute.

 Step 4 Repeat three more times to make sure you get the same tempo. Take the average of the three attempts as your final beats per minute.

You may also use an online BPM calculator, but this method gives you an understanding of the process.


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