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I see a 'C' like sign in the beginning of the staff. What does it mean?

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22

The "C" after the clef in place of the time signature stands for "Common Time," and it is shorthand for 4/4 time.

If you see a "C" with a vertical line through it, that stands for "Cut Time," and it is shorthand for 2/2 time.

9

The history goes that religious music was written in 3 time, reflecting the holy trinity.So a circle would be used. When music was written in 4 time, a BROKEN circle would be used. This over time became printed as a C. So it represents 4/4, but doesn't actually stand for 'common'.As above, when split, it means split time - 4/4 but played with a 'two' feel.

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