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Here's a little test of your ability to read music without a time signature. This is the theme from a piece by a very well known composer - note, I transposed it into a different key because the original key might frighten some people. Which is the correct version - 3/4 time or 4/4? (I'll add a link to the original after a day or so, to give the OP time to ...


Probably. But it can get a bit silly. All these bars sound the same, but you wouldn't want to continue this sort of notation for too long!


Why, in that case, is the bottom number required either? Use time signatures and bars if they help organize the rhythmic patterns of your music. Most composers find they do, both for musical and practical reasons - what would you prefer, "go from bar 123" or "go from the 1,103rd note"? :-)


You can (theoretically) read a score without bar lines, and indeed bars (or measures) and bar lines, in the sense that we use today, are a relatively new invention, from the mid of 17th century. Before that, "bar" lines were not used at all, or were used only to visually divide a piece into sections or phrases. In fact if we go all the way back to Gregorian ...


No! it's possible to sort of translate 2/2 into 4/4, but even then there will be a subtle change in emphasis of certain notes, depending where they are in a bar. It's certainly not possible to tranlate 3/4 into 6/8, even though they both contain the equivalent of 3 crotchets/6 quavers. 12/8 is often written as 4/4, with a note at the top explaining the feel, ...


At the very least you could translate one three time into another type of three time. So for instance... Into. You can also change the nature of a certain type of time. Or in other change a passage from Simple Time to Compound Time. So for Instance take the next simple duple time passage and change it into a compound duple time.


Most (Western) music divides neatly into regular sections. We call those bars. Without them, there would be no particular emphasis on the first beat of each bar, which is where the composer got the top number from. When he wrote the music, he felt it had a rhythm, and translated that into number of beats - the top number. The bottom number, as you state, ...

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