One of the most important elements, Karageorghis found, is a song’s tempo, which should be between 120 and 140 beats per minute, or BPM.

That pace coincides with the range of most commercial dance music, and many rock songs are near that range, which leads people to develop “an aesthetic appreciation for that tempo,” he said. It also roughly corresponds to the average person’s heart rate during a routine workout – say, 20 minutes on an elliptical trainer by a person who is more casual exerciser than fitness warrior.

Karageorghis said “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg are around that range, as is the dance remix of “Umbrella” by Rihanna (so maybe the pop star was onto something).

For a high-intensity workout like a hard run, he suggested Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On.”

Music preferences are as idiosyncratic as workout routines, of course. Allison Goldberg, a 39-year-old life coach and amateur runner who lives in Texas and who is training for the Houston Marathon on Sunday, has been running to the Green Day CD “American Idiot” because, she said, “there’s no way you can run slow to Green Day.” (Though she may not be listening on race day; a rule bars runners from using portable music players and headphones.) Haile Gebrselassie, the Olympian from Ethiopia who has won the gold medal at 10,000 meters, often requested that the techno song “Scatman,” which has a BPM of around 135, be played over the sound system during his races.

Goldberg also includes on her playlist “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” by the Black Eyed Peas (130 BPM), “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers (150 BPM) and “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. The musical style that seems to most reliably contain a high BPM is dance music, said Richard Petty, the founder of Power Music, a company that has produced workout compilations for instructors and fitness enthusiasts for two decades. “A rock song doesn’t have that same consistency,” said Petty, a former DJ who takes a metronomic approach to making exercise music: He chooses a hit song with a catchy melody – say, “Gold Digger” by Kanye West – and produces a remix whose BPM count is tailored to experience level and type of workout.

List of average genre tempo (BPM) levels?

Let’s start a list!

  • Hip Hop is around 80-115 BPM
  • Triphop / Downtempo around 90-110 BPM
  • Concert marches are typically ~120 BPM.
  • House varies between 118 and 135 BPM
    • UK garage/2-step is usually between 130-135 BPM
    • UK funky is around 130 BPM
  • Techno 120-160 BPM
    • Generally around 120-135
    • Acid Techno 135-150
    • Schranz around 150
  • Dubstep is around 140 BPM 70’s to 100 (mostly 80-90)

    • Dubstep is not 140 BPM. I don’t know why that number gets thrown around, but most dubstep is from the 70’s to 100, with most falling in-between 80 and 90. In many songs it’s often for a double-time break to happen, at which point it will reach 140~200, respectively, but it shouldn’t be timed that way. – n_b
    • *Dubstep is 70 – 75 BPM, which is equivalent to 140 – 150 BPM depending on if you count the snare on the 2 and 4 or the 3 of the measure.
    • I don’t know what kind of music you refer to as Dubstep, but ive been a dj for a while and until 5 years ago my style was only dubstep,mostly pure London style Dubstep. My beats were always straight 140 BPM, mainly because ALL the tracks were 140 BPM too. No variation. Ask yourself why the drop is always at the 27th or 54th second of a song. If there was any variation in tempo, that would differ too. And i also had this dj software, mainly just as database for the digital part of my music, that saves a lot of manual work to categorize them in groups. And that software also has a BPM counter and shows in which key the songs are produced. And all my dubstep, without an exception was counting registered as 140 BPM by the software. I don’t know what music nowadays is called Dubstep by the kids, but it aint Dubstep bro. It’s some sort of evolution style based on some sounds that the harder songs contained. Even Excision’s songs are mainly at 140 BPM. The later harder dubstep that was called ‘Bro-step’by Rusko, who was one of the first that made those harder tracks. If not The first one. If you want to know about dubstep, go listen to producers like Distance, J:Kenzo, Kromestar, Sukh Knight, Mala, Kahn, old Skream, old Rusko, Joker, Caspa, even Eptic. That is dubstep, and all released and still are 140 BPM tracks. 200 BPM Dubstep? Hahaha, sorry bro, but go listen to uptempo hardcore from people like Partyraizer, DRS, Andy the core or any other. That stuff should is 200 BPM and up.. Dubstep is slow motion compared to that. There is actually a style called drumstep, which is the sound of that Bro-Step i mentioned before but with the tempo and the breaks of drum n bass. Those are like 170BPM thanks to the d’n’b breaks. And it is way faster then regular dubstep. I clearly don’t understand why a music theory site just lets people edit something with complete nonsense about a music style and just agree with it. It’s totally wrong what is stated there. Go check. There are a lot of tools to find online to count the beats properly. It’s only a few of them dubstep producers that go a little faster then the rest, like P0gman who has a ton of 150 BPM tracks. But that’s his personal style and still is dubstep. Well i couldnt resist to reply at something that contains so much [email protected]#$!and is just for everyone to read without anyone edit it.
  • Screamers are usually 130-150 BPM

  • Hardstyle is around 150 BPM
  • Juke/Footwork is around 160 BPM
  • Drum and Bass averages a BPM of 160-180
    • Oldschool jungle is around 160-170
    • Drum & Bass and Drumstep and Neurofunk 170-180
  • Grime 140 BPM

Some of the basic tempo markings

  • Largo is 40-60 BPM
  • Larghetto is 60-66 BPM
  • Adagio is 66-76 BPM
  • Andante is 76-108 BPM
  • Moderato is 108-120 BPM
  • Allegro is 120-168 BPM
  • Presto is 168-200 BPM
  • Prestissimo is 200+ BPM

See the discussion on the terms Lento and Agitato as they relate to tempo.

Songs with 140 bpm

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