BY FREDERICK FRANZ revised by Jon Truelson

NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT Copyright 1947 by Frederick Franz Copyright Under International Copyright Convention and UnderPan-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 simplematter, so simple, in fact, that no particular directions would be necessary.Frederick Franz in this valuable little treatise on the use of the metronomeeffectively dispels any such assumption for he suggests a variety of interestinguses of this instrument which would in all probability never occur to theaverage student or indeed to the average teacher.

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

Howard Hanson, Former Director, Eastman School ofMusic


The Musician and the Metronome

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

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

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

Many of the techniques presented in this book have been gathered fromcorrespondence and conversation with exponents of the art and are here codifiedand published for the first time. The others have been published here and thereover the years. All are the result of the thoughts of many minds. Credit forfirst use or first publication is given when it has been possible to obtain theinformation. But, in an art as old as the use of the metronome in the study ofmusic, exact knowledge of first uses is often obscure. It is hoped that anyomission or incorrect attribution of credit may be pardoned in light of thisfact.

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