What is 3/4 in music? E.g., is it a crotchet,a minim, or a quaver. I am so confused. Somebody post back fast cause I am doing music homework and I am so confused!!!
The top number in this time signature indicates that there are three beats in each measure. The bottom number (below the slash) means that one beat is defined as a quarter note, or crotchet. In other words, there are three quarter notes in each measure in this time signature. The 3/4 time signature is commonly used in waltzes and minuets.
To expand a little bit on what Wheat has said, the easy way to look at time signatures such as 3/4 is to say that it means simply "three quarter notes per measure." Likewise, 6/8 is six eighth notes per measure, 4/4 four quarter notes per measure, and so on.
The other concepts Wheat mentions are necessary to a full understanding of time signatures as well. Time signatures are either simple or compound, and either duple or triple. These distinctions can be a bit confusing, but I'll have a go. Simple vs. compound have to do with either how the beats subdivide, or how the stronger and weaker beats are divided: simple divides in twos, compound divides in threes. Duple vs. triple have to do with how many beats there are in the measure, or how many strong beats are in the measure: duple has a multiple of two, simple has a multiple of three. So, what do you do when you have a number of beats that is a multiple of both, such as six? Here's where it gets a bit complicated. If you can divide the number by 3, then it's generally compound, otherwise it's simple. If the result of the division is a multiple of 2, it's duple, otherwise it's triple. So, 3/4 is simple triple, 6/8 is compound duple, 9/8 is compound triple, and 4/4 is simple duple.
Let's compare 3/4 and 6/8 in more detail. Why isn't it the same signature, because 3/4 is the same number as 6/8? Well, they aren't quite the same; as we have said one is simple triple and the other is compound duple. Suppose you have six eighth notes in 3/4 time. You would count them ONE-and-two-and-three-and ONE-and-two-and-three-and. Now, if you have the same six eighth notes in 6/8 time, you would count them ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six. The first is simple triple, as Wheat mentions; the second is compound duple.
The British still use the old-fashioned terms. Here is the translation, which helps if you're trying to understand time signatures:
Semibreve = whole note (a "breve" is a double whole note, hence the term semibreve)
Minim = half note
Crotchet = quarter note
Quaver = eighth note
Semiquaver = sixteenth note
Demisemiquaver = 32nd note
Hemidemisemiquaver = 64th note
Semihemidemisemiquaver (good grief!) 128th note
While there are 256th notes, they're considered an oddity, used by people who like to compose oddities because they can't compose music. (Just kidding)