In the sheet I'm doing, it asks to rewrite a measure from the song. The original song is in 6/8 time and I chose to revert to 3/4 time. How do I do that?

  • 2
    6/8 and 3/4 are equivalent in time, just not in feel/rhythm. You shouldn't need to do anything, unless your goal is to preserve something of the feel. See music.stackexchange.com/q/25035/28
    – user28
    Feb 26, 2017 at 19:39
  • 1
    You cannot revert to 3/4, as it never was that anyway.
    – Tim
    Feb 26, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    We're not going to get far until you ask a clearer question!
    – Laurence
    Feb 27, 2017 at 0:19
  • 1
    You could convert it to 2/4 time but that is not really the question
    – Neil Meyer
    Feb 27, 2017 at 13:34
  • 2
    @NeilMeyer - actually, that would be a far better question in a test !
    – Tim
    Feb 27, 2017 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Whilst there are the same number of quavers in both time signatures, you need to preserve the feel as far as possible.

To do this, you're going to end up with two 3/4 bars for every 6/8 bar. Firstly, divide the 6/8 bar into two 3/8 bars. You just need to stick a bar line in the middle of the bar. Easy.

Then, you want to convert the 3/8 into 3/4. To do this, you need to double the length of every note and rest. This should be straightforward, depending on the complexity of the music.

Finally, double the tempo, if there is one. It may now be quite fast.

The end result is probably the best conversion you are going to get. It's better than simply changing the quaver beaming because it largely preserves the beat emphasis. I also suspect it will be harder to read, but that's a matter of opinion.

  • Well that finally explains the existence of 6/8. I always had a hard time reading it but some others could easily have it hard the other way around.
    – Joshua
    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:47
  • But - bear in mind that in 3/4 time, every '1' is emphasised the same, theoretically. Whereas, in 6/8, '1' is emphasised most, with '4' being emphasised as well, but not so much as '1'. So the feel won't be exactly the same. That's probably why both time sigs exist, as they can't be exactly morphed into each other.
    – Tim
    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:08

It depends on the focus of what your worksheet is having you work on.

If it is a transcription exercise working on musical notation then the convention is in 6/8 time to have eighth notes beamed in triplets (three notes per beam).
In 3/4 time the eighth notes will be beamed in pairs.

This follows the strong count of the measures, so eighth notes in 6/8 follow 1 2 3 4 5 6, and in 3/4 follow 1 + 2 + 3 + . Otherwise the measures will look the same, but the feel will be different.

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