What is the unit name of an area split by Bar Line(s) called ?

(See the red-circled area in below picture)

Amazing Grace

The translation from my native language to English results in Time Signature .

I feel that it's quite not right, but I don't know, maybe that just me.

This is the simple 1-sentence version of the question :

Fill in the blank : The area which is red-circled in above picture is called as 1 (one) ______________

2 Answers 2


The metrical unit you are referring to is called bar or measure.

The area which is red-circled in above picture is called as 1 (one) Bar or Measure

The bar lines break your notes into bars and are used to provide regular reference points to pinpoint locations within a piece of music.

  • 5
    Of possible note for a non-native English speaker is that American convention is to call it a 'measure', while British convention is to call it a 'bar'. We tend to understand each other's terminology though. Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 12:58
  • 1
    @MatthewWalton "bar" and "measure" are both commonly used in the United States. "Bar" is by no means a primarily British term.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 13:25
  • @phoog - conversly, U.K. tend not to use 'measure'. French do, but with a French accent, of course - 'mayzuoor'! Can't find any word resembling that in modern German.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 13:41
  • @phoog ah nice, I assumed since we just never say "measure" here that Americans never say "bar". Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 10:56
  • @MatthewWalton A classic example is Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy, which includes the line "he blows it eight to the bar in boogie rhythm." I wonder when "measure" fell out of use in the UK. Do you know? (The OED's last citation is from 1878, the Grove dictionary: "the word bar is also commonly, though incorrectly, applied to the portion contained between any two such vertical lines [bars], such portion being termed a 'measure'.")
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 14:01

It's called one bar.That's why they're bar lines, they separate bars. The time signature at the beginning of a piece tells how many beats of which sort each bar will contain. As in this tune - 3/4 tells 3 of one beat note length. Sometimes called quarter beats - the Americans think a 'full' bar would have one long beat in it (a semibreve), so they call this 'three-quarter time' The usual bottom notes are crotchets (one beat or quarter) notes, and the top number tells how many fit into each bar. Where the first, and then subsequent, barlines go is usually defined by the louder or more stressed notes, or in this case, word/syllable. As in aMAzing GRACE, how SWEET the SOUND.


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