The Definition and Purpose of Mässig Music

Getting lost in the music of old
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The German musical command mässig indicates that a section or piece is to be played at a moderate tempo. Literally, the music should be played moderately. Other common indications of this tempo marking are the Italian moderato, the French terms modéré and en modérant, and another German term, gemässigt. Typically, mässig music is played between the range of 108-120 beats per minute or 88-112 BPM.  Pronounced "mess'-ik", this term can also be spelled "mäßig" or "maessig."

Music Examples of Mässig

Historically, German composers most often employed this musical term. As a result, its presence is found in several works by Robert Schumann, including his Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17 and his Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 97. Another example of this tempo marking can be seen in Franz Schubert's Gute Nacht (Winterreise).