Beat the clock
SIR – Graham Chainey’s view (Letters, October 11) that tempos have slowed down and should be faster cannot be supported. If Schumann’s Träumerei is played at 80 or 100 crotchets per minute, the title is negated.
Many early 19th-century metronome marks are roughly twice the speed of those used by later composers or of speeds computed before the metronome. There is mounting evidence that at the beginning of the metronome era, a double beat was measured, in analogy to the to-and-fro movement of a pendulum, or the tick
and the tock of a clock. Now we measure just the tick or the tock. Peter Tyrrell