BY FREDERICK FRANZ revised by Jon Truelson

NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT Copyright 1947 by Frederick Franz Copyright Under International Copyright Convention and Under Pan-American Copyright Conventions

Second printing, October, 1953

Third printing, March, 1959

Fourth printing, July, 1964

Fifth printing, April, 1970

Sixth printing, April, 1975

Seventh printing, August 1977

Eighth printing, July 1980

Ninth printing, December 1982

Tenth printing,

October 1986 Printed in the United States of America

First digital edition, version 0.9.1, September 1996,

Second digital edition, version 0.9.2,July, 1997,


To the casual observer the use of the metronome would seem to be a simple matter, so simple, in fact, that no particular directions would be necessary. Frederick Franz in this valuable little treatise on the use of the metronome effectively dispels any such assumption for he suggests a variety of interesting uses of this instrument which would in all probability never occur to the average student or indeed to the average teacher.

In the discussions of problems of time, tempo and rhythm, Mr. Franz makes a host of valuable suggestions which should go far toward solving many of the difficulties which beset the student. It is not too much to say that the treatise takes the much abused metronome from the dull role of a mere time beater and transforms it into a valuable tool in assisting the student to a more complete understanding of the art of music.

Howard Hanson, Former Director, Eastman School of Music


The Musician and the Metronome

The original purpose of the inventors of the metronome was only to provide a yardstick with which tempos could he accurately measured and specified. Although Maelzel's and Beethoven's labors served this purpose well in the development of the instrument and the tempo scale, the growth in the use of the metronome is attributable to other uses to which it has been put. One of the principal objects of these other uses is the attainment of a high degree of skill in executing difficult or tricky rhythms.

There are two schools of thought among musicians concerning this use of the metronome-one opposed and the other favorable. "Practicing with a metronome" has been criticized by some musicians as "making you mechanical." In some instances such criticism is largely a prejudice, the critic having gained the impression that one starts a metronome and simply continues playing with it indefinitely. In most instances, however, such criticism is excusable since so little has been published on specific techniques of metronome uses. It is hoped that those who oppose its use for learning and improving the control of rhythm will read with tolerance these methods, employed by those who favor it, and perhaps investigate their value by experimenting with one or two of them in their own teaching or preparation for concerts.

To acquire concert-performance control of rhythm with all its nuances, a knowledge of the subtle use of metronome technique is very profitable. This little book aims to supply such knowledge. The techniques are really very simple. If one approaches the subject with an open mind, improvements that are positive, pleasurable, and often astonishing, are sure to follow.

Many of the techniques presented in this book have been gathered from correspondence and conversation with exponents of the art and are here codified and published for the first time. The others have been published here and there over the years. All are the result of the thoughts of many minds. Credit for first use or first publication is given when it has been possible to obtain the information. But, in an art as old as the use of the metronome in the study of music, exact knowledge of first uses is often obscure. It is hoped that any omission or incorrect attribution of credit may be pardoned in light of this fact.

If the reader of this book employs successful methods in his or her teaching or concert preparatory work, other than those described here, we shall welcome an explanation of his or her methods so that an abstract of them may be included in future editions. It is intended to revise this book from time to time as new methods are devised and as more old ones are revealed. Then they, too, will be brought to the attention of those who love and live to make music.