When composing music, there are many instances in which knowing the length of a track is essential; this could include the creation of music for TV or radio commercials, or writing melodies for musicals.
At MathBin, we’ve developed a song-length calculator that will give you an accurate calculation of the length of your song; to do so, we combine the beats per minute (also known as tempo), the bars (also known as measures), and beats per bar of a composition.
Simply enter the details in the boxes below and the calculator will deliver an accurate duration for your song.
The calculation works thus:
Duration = (Beats per measure * Number of measures) / Beats per minute
Let’s break down each element of the song-length calculation with examples.
Beats Per Minute
The speed at which music is played is called the beats per minute (BpM or tempo). 60 BpM would follow the tick of an accurate clock (All You Ever Wanted by the Black Keys is an example of 60 BpM), while at 120 BpM a beat would occur every half second (Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson is a great example of (roughly) 120 BpM).
Many popular music genres are closely associated with a specific BPM. Here’s a few examples:
- Reggae: 60-90 BpM
- Hip-hop: 60-100 BpM
- Pop: 100-130 BpM
- Drum & Bass: 165-185 BpM
Number of Measures
A measure (or bar) is a segment of time in a piece of music defined by a number of beats played at a specific tempo. Measures help composers break long pieces of music up into more digestible blocks.
Measures are very easy to find on a piece of sheet music; they’re single or double vertical lines (like this: |).
Beats per Measure
A song’s beats per measure is defined by its time signature — that’s the 4/4 we often see at the beginning of a piece of sheet music. The top number denotes the amount of beats per measure (this is the part we need for calculating our song duration); the bottom number denotes the kind of note per beat (whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note).
The 4/4 time signature means our measure has 4 quarter note beats. Many popular songs are played in 4/4 time.
Got more song lengths to calculate? Bookmark our page!
And if you’ve got other things to calculate, be sure to check out our comprehensive database; at MathBin, we’ve got a calculator for everything.