Sheet music with guitar chords

Most songs and pieces from the Classical period (ca. 1750) onward indicate the piece’s tempo using an expression—often in Italian—such as Allegro (fast) or Grave (slow) as well as its dynamics (loudness or softness). The lyrics, if present, are written near the melody notes. However, music from the Baroque era (ca. 1600–1750) or earlier eras may have neither a tempo marking nor a dynamic indication. The singers and musicians of that era were expected to know what tempo and loudness to play or sing a given song or piece due to their musical experience and knowledge. In the contemporary classical music era (20th and 21st century), and in some cases before (such as the Romantic period in German-speaking regions), composers often used their native language for tempo indications, rather than Italian (e. g. , “fast” or “schnell”) or added metronome markings (e. g. , = 100 beats per minute).