Please see this question I am asked in one of my textbooks. I am asked to add a time signature. My answer is 12/16 but the problem is that I can't divide the bar into 4 dotted quavers because of the quaver rest in the middle of the second bar. In 12/8 you are supposed to clearly show the 4 beat divisions. Is this the case for 12/16 too? If so then how can this be right? enter image description here

  • 1
    I'd put those two rests the opposite way round, for ease of reading.
    – Tim
    Aug 16, 2021 at 8:48
  • 3
    If the two rests were the other way round, this could be 12 16. The way the rests have been ordered is what tells us it has to be 6 8. Aug 17, 2021 at 0:13
  • 1
    @DawoodibnKareem The beaming of the dotted quaver to the three semiquavers is another good hint for that.
    – user45266
    Aug 17, 2021 at 2:40

2 Answers 2


As you correctly observe, the quaver rest messes up the 4 beat divisions, so the time signature can't be 12/16. It has to be 6/8.


12/16 is compound quadruple time with a beat equal to a dotted quaver.

6/8 time is the time signature with two dotted crotchets for beats

This time signature clearly has two beats and the first beat is equal to a dotted crotchet, this would lead you to 6/8 time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.