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Time signatures look like fractions, but are not really. I grew up on crotchets and quavers, so I'll use those words, but the American/German number-names drop naturally out of the time signatures. 3/4 does not mean "3 divided by 4", it means 3 times 1/4, or 3 beats of a crotchet. So the piece is "in 3". In all traditional notation (Beethoven, Mozart, et ...


2

They are very different. In 3/4 you are playing in threes: [ONE two three] [ONE two three] [ONE two three]. In 6/8 you are playing twos [[ONE two three] [Four five six]] [[ONE two three] [Four five six]] Hard to illustrate but in 6/8 the underlying pattern is 1-2-1-2-1-2 where the 1 occurs on the first quaver and the 2 on the fourth. If you were playing a ...


2

Three 200g cakes weigh the same as six 100g cakes, but if they were put on a plate in front of you, you'd see them as different eating experiences. It's the same with 3/4 versus 6/8. 3/4 feels like three beats in each bar. In 6/8 you feel the pulse of 6 shorter beats to every bar.


1

When the music is a long string of eighth notes, 3/4 is 3 groups of 2; 6/8 is two groups of 3: 3/4: [e e] [e e] [e e] 6/8: [e e e] [e e e] and the first note in each group is (usually) slightly accented relative to the others, and of course ,the first note of the measure is (usually) more strongly accented.



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