four quarter notes

The meter signature is 4/4, but the tempo is marked allegro assai.  What do you do?  Beat four?  Beat two?  

The answer is the same as all conducting questions: it depends!  But I drew a fun picture to demonstrate some options.


How much weight does the downbeat have relative to the rest of the measure?  What’s the articulation like?  Are there any cues or preparations that need to be communicated?  You can change the size of the patterns to suit any dynamic level.  Try it at home!

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