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Time signatures and bars are not there arbitrarily, nor just to help count your way through a piece. They are there to provide guidance on the rhythm of the piece. Where it is accented, where it breathes. Some composers do write pieces with no time signature or bars, as an indication that there should be no consistent rhythm. Eric Satie did this for several ...

19

Your understanding of the math, as it were, is correct. And I would say yes, a multiple of 4 bars of music in 3/4 can be expressed as music in 4/4 (in a multiple of 3 bars), but I would dispute that the same can necessarily be represented as such. The bar line placement of a piece of music has tremendous impact upon live musicians' interpretation of, not to ...

6

Two time signatures indicates alternation back and forth between the two. It's just shorthand for writing a new time sig at the start of every bar. The second sig is usually in parentheses, so, for example, 3/4(6/8) would have a bar of 3/4, then a bar of 6/8, then a bar of 3/4, etc. That exact example is from the "America" song from Bernstein's West Side ...

6

Lee is right, but there is a simpler way to think of triplets. Typically we break notes up into sets of 2 (or duples). For example, two half notes make a whole note, two quarter notes make a half notes, two eighth notes make a quarter note etc. All a triplet is is putting 3 notes where 2 normally go. So 3 eighth note triplets will always equal a quarter ...

6

I think triplets are always 2/3 of the duration of the 3 notes regardless of the meter indicated by the time signature. So a triplet of quarter notes will take up the space of a half note (or two quarter notes). A triplet of eighth notes will take up the space of a quarter note (or two eighth notes). ...and so on. I pulled up some useful links in ...

5

The only reason not to use a slash is that it implies division. But it's the closest match to standard notation and the symbol there looks even more like division. You're trying to reproduce what standard notation does, so use / That / will be the least of your learners' worries. I'd say the numbers themselves will be more worrisome. Triple meter? Have ...

5

The question has already been answered correctly by Lee and Dom, but I would like to add some pictures as clarification... I don't have an example right now from an actual piece, though I'm quite sure I've seen something similar. Anyway, it's not hard to come up with your own examples, so here's one which shouldn't even sound that odd: This should at ...

4

In plain text you can use the vertical bar symbol | (aka pipe) instead of /. It's a very common character, so your keyboard should have an easy way to type it. It would look like this: 4|4. You can check the list of Unicode characters and search for other characters that might be used instead of /, like ⧘ ⦙ ⬍, there's a lot of them (some have mathematical ...

2

Without knowing the score it seems to me that this is a case of interchangeable metres/time signatures rather than alternating metres. Eight note triplets in 3/4 could be equated with ordinary eights in 9/8. Thus can the two time signatures be seen as interchangeable (using three beats per bar). And the dual time signature can make the writing of the score ...

2

A nice example of a composer playing with the written vs sounding time signature is the second movement of Ravel's G Major Piano Concerto. It is written in 3/4 and sounds like it's a slow waltz in the left hand, but the left hand isn't playing a normal 3/4 waltz rhythm — it is playing eight-notes putting the pulse on beat 1 on the second eighth note of beat ...

1

Simple test for you to try. Take 'Frere Jacques', a well known song. Re-write it in 3 time.Ask a player to play it. Chances are that it will sound very different. That's because the emphasis in a song comes on the first note of a bar.Particularly notable when words are involved ! In 4 this is every 4, in 3, every 3.It also puts the 'main' notes in different ...

1

Think of 9/8 like this: 3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 So therefore 9/8 is basically a combination of 3 8th-note triplets. If you want the original triplets, you will have to go for 16th-note triplets for each of the 9 8th notes.

1

I suspect that there might be some confusion in the question. As I see things, 6/8 is a way of notating a 2/4 rhythm whilst showing that there is a triplet beat; 9/8 is a way of notating 3/4. I came to this backwards, hearing songs which I considered to be in 12/8 then discovering that they were notated in 4/4. One can count songs both ways as the rhythm ...

1

"x over y" is an expression used in music, and in mathematics. The time signature can be thought mathematically as x * 1 / y, for example, 4 * 1 / 4. I wouldn't worry too much about it looking mathematical, personally, since when used in context it will be correctly understood, and not confusing in a musical context. What are you doing in inline text, ...

1

What are you are referring to is called harmonic stress. It is the metrical stress accorded to a pulse based on its position within a grouping. It should be noted that, while sometimes musical performers add accentuation to notes or chords occurring on strong harmonic stresses, this is not always the rule. The strength of the beat is actually not a function ...

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