Carl Maria von Weber
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- The beat must not be like a tyrannical hammer, impeding or urging on, but must be to the music what the pulse-beat is to the life of man. There is no slow tempo in which passages do not occur that demand a quicker motion, so as to obviate the impression of dragging. Conversely there is no presto that does not need a quiet delivery by many places, so as not to throw away the chance of expressiveness by hurrying... Neither the quickening nor the slowing of the tempo should ever give the impression of the spasmodic or the violent. The changes, to have a musical-poetic significance, must come in an orderly way in periods and phrases, conditioned by the varying warmth of the expression. We have in music no signs for all this. They exist only in the sentient soul. If they are not there, then there is no help to be had from the metronome – which obviates only the grosser errors – nor from these extremely imperfect precepts of mine.