“Fake” Tempo Changes through Rhythmic Subdivisions

Rhythmic subdivisions of the same tempo can be a great tool to dramaturgically shape your scene and for creating “fake” tempo changes.

Staying in the same tempo while switching back and forth between a pushing eighth note structure, mid-tempo feeling quarter note structures and relaxed feeling half note structures is great for scoring brief changes of action in the scene without using very noticeable “real” tempo changes. Imagine an action scene with bits of dialogue in between.

Using this technique is great to keep the pulse pumping and still gives you enough compositonal freedom to write exciting and edgy music for the action bits and tone it down to a different subdivision when the characters are talking to each other.

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