instrument for marking musical tempo, erroneously ascribed to the German Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (17721838) but actually invented by a Dutch competitor, Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel (c. 17761826). It consists of a pendulum swung on a pivot and actuated by a hand-wound clockwork whose escapement (a motion-controlling device) makes a ticking sound as the wheel passes a pallet. Below the pivot there is a fixed weight; above it, a sliding weight. A scale of numbers indicates how many oscillations per minute occur when the sliding weight is moved to a given point on the pendulum. Thus, the notation M.M. (Maelzel's metronome) = 60 indicates that at 60 oscillations per minute the half note will receive one beat. The conventional metronome is housed in a pyramidal case. Pocket and electric metronomes are also made. Metronomes have occasionally been used as musical instruments, e.g., by the Hungarian Gyrgy Ligeti (Pome symphonique, 1962, for 100 metronomes).
Meaning of METRONOME in English
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012