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How do I set allegro?

(Metronome) This is a metronome. A metronome is a device that "taps" audibly at timed intervals. Musicians use it as an aid to keep a steady tempo. A metronome can be adjusted to produce either a faster or slower tempo. The one shown here is set for l00 "taps" per minute. (See display in top left corner of metronome.)

Imagine you are a musician and want to increase the tempo to allegro - 130 "taps" per minute. How would you do it?
(Metronome closeup)

Would you turn the circular dial to the right, clockwise, until it pointed to the vicinity of "allegro 120-168?"? If you answered "yes," you would probably be surprised to learn that, although the circular dial LOOKS like it turns, it does not turn at all!

The way you set this metronome for 130 "taps" is to push on the upward-pointing triangle on the circular dial until the number in the display reads 130. (To decrease the number, you push on the downward-pointing triangle.) The fact that the circular dial LOOKS like it should be turned to set the metronome speed is very misleading. A circular dial was probably intended to make it look more attractive.

Design Suggestion

A control should not be designed to look like a dial if it does not work like a dial. The metronome dial should either be removed or should be made to turn to change the number in the display. If the metronome dial was removed, the upward- and downward-pointing triangles could be placed on pushbuttons directly on the face of the metronome.

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Copyright © Michael J. Darnell 1999-2010. All rights reserved.