If you’re studying music theory, you’ve probably come across the term BPS. But what does it mean?
BPS stands for “beats per second,” which is a unit of measurement used to describe the tempo or speed of a musical piece. Understanding BPS is important for musicians because it can help them accurately perform a piece and communicate with other musicians about the tempo.
What Is Tempo?
Before we dive into BPS, let’s review what tempo means. Tempo refers to the speed at which a piece of music is played.
It’s usually measured in beats per minute (BPM). For example, a fast-paced dance song might have a tempo of 120 BPM, while a slow ballad might have a tempo of 60 BPM.
What Are Beats?
Beats are the underlying pulse of music. They’re what you tap your foot or bob your head to when listening to a song. Each beat represents one unit of time, and the tempo determines how many beats occur within that time frame.
How Does BPS Relate to Tempo?
BPS is another way to measure tempo that’s not as commonly used as BPM. Whereas BPM measures the number of beats per minute, BPS measures the number of beats per second. To convert between BPM and BPS, you simply divide or multiply by 60 (since there are 60 seconds in a minute).
For example, if a song has a tempo of 120 BPM, that means there are two beats per second (since 120/60=2). Therefore, the BPS for that song would be 2.
Why Use BPS Instead of BPM?
While BPM is the more common unit for measuring tempo, some musicians prefer using BPS because it can be more precise. For very fast or complex pieces of music, BPM might not be accurate enough to convey the desired tempo. In these cases, using BPS can help musicians communicate more clearly.
How to Calculate BPS
To calculate BPS, you need to know the tempo in BPM. Once you have that information, simply divide the BPM by 60. Here’s the formula:
BPS = BPM / 60
For example, let’s say a song has a tempo of 180 BPM. To find the BPS, we would do:
BPS = 180 / 60
BPS = 3
So the BPS for that song would be 3.
In summary, BPS stands for “beats per second” and is a unit of measurement used to describe the tempo or speed of a musical piece. While BPM is more commonly used to measure tempo, some musicians prefer using BPS for its precision.
To calculate BPS, simply divide the BPM by 60. Understanding BPS is an important part of music theory and can help musicians accurately perform and communicate about a piece’s tempo.