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Metronomes

A metronome is a device that produces an audible click or another sound at a regular interval that is set by the user, typically in beats per minute (BPM). Musicians use a metronome to practice playing in time and a sustained speed. Metronomes also can include swinging pendulum or blinking lights allowing the user to better keep track of the beats. A basic metronome was among one of the inventions of Andalusian polymath Abbas ibn Firnas (810–887). In 1815 Johann Maelzel patented the metronome as a tool for musicians, under the title "Instrument/Machine for the Improvement of all Musical Performance, called Metronome".

Musicians practice with metronomes to improve their timing, especially the ability to stick to a tempo. Metronome practice helps teach a clear sense of timing and tempo. Composers often use a metronome as a standard tempo reference—and may play or sing their work to the metronome to derive beats per minute if they want to indicate that in a composition.

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