Tempo Marks

Before the invention of the metronome in the early 1800's composers described the overall rate of events in a given piece, what musicians call tempo (Italian: time), with word association, linking musical time to human emotional and kinestetic experiences. Such references included, for example, describing the rate of articulations as similar to a walking pace (Andante) or,  asking for a joyful musical character, or cheerful emotional state with a fast tempo (Allegro or Molto Allegro). 

After the metronome's invention, words continued to be used to describe tempo, but now often combined with metronome marks. In some instances, expressive marks are used in lieu of tempo markings, and in other cases, tempo is described by the BPM mark alone.