I like to get my heart going in a cardio workout a few times a week. I type my information into a treadmill module and out comes the suggested heart rate. I shoot for about 40 minutes of elevated heart rate, about 140. I don’t run, I basically powerwalk – and the treadmill itself elevates quite a bit (as if I am going uphill etc) so I am sufficiently tired when everything is said and done. Funny thing is, when you do a workout of 140 beats a minute you have a heightened sense of tempo. I happen to be working on a new song which is about 80 BPM (beats per minute). Often, when working on tracks I will burn “sketch” cds, or put work in progress versions into my iPod. This allows me to drive and listen to the sketch, and also tweak aspects of the song while I am going about other tasks (BTW did you know you theoretically can re-burn RW cd’s up to 1000 times?) What is my point I hear you ask? Well this week after walking for 40@140 I popped the sketch cd in and lamented the sloooooow tempo. It got me thinking about pulse (human) as well as pulse (song) or more commonly beats per minute, and how we (in a physiological sense) are influenced by these little subdivisions in time. Why do certain tempos (100BPM, 112-118BPM,etc) usually connote dance speeds? Why do faster tempos urge us into action? It is an interesting question. Obviously there are so many different kinds of dance, just determining proper dance tempos or sweet spots for the variety alone is a challenge Disco / Club / Waltz / Swing / House / Jazz / Funk / R&B / Soul / Rhumba / Tribal Fire – ya get the idea. But common to all of these pulse urges is the human organisms desire to respond. Our feet tap when we meet a pleasing dance tempo / groove. No doubt, there are aspects of the music style as well that will urge some more than others…being a truly funky drummer in the sense of being able to generate dancers is paramount in the dance clubs or weddings where they want folks interacting. DJs (perhaps unfortunately) to a large degree are replacing bands for the simple reason they can often better command a dance floor with dance music (and are cheaper?!) I have never consciously sat down to make a dance track – but I probably will now. It will be a fun learning experience, and will also be an interesting venture into “giving folks what they want”. One more thing, I am debating a song or tune of absolutely blistering skin stretching tempo. Why not? I suppose a very high energy tempo with cruncy guitars, and a drum track of aggressive single stroke style drumming would probably imply some kind of sport…jet skiing or whatever. Who knows?Call it a study….talk soon.