# Can time signatures be written in the form of a fraction?

Is it OK to write time signatures as fractions like this:

``````4
-
4
``````

``````4
4
``````

? Is it allowed? If yes, could you show me proof?

• What reason would you have for this? In print, it usually looks like 4/4, but on a stave, the '-' will be on the centre line, and probably not seen anyway.
– Tim
Sep 6, 2017 at 8:47
• It's important to realise that a time signature is not a fraction, but rather two separate numbers which are quoted together: the lower number gives the note duration (minim, crotchet, quaver) and the upper number says how many notes there are in a bar. Sep 6, 2017 at 11:14
• In 20th-century pieces you'll occasionally see time signatures like 1½/4 or 2½/4, which reinforces @No'amNewman's point about the time signature being better thought of as two numbers rather than as a fraction. Sep 6, 2017 at 17:39
• It's not that far removed from a fraction, particularly if you think in American note-names - 3/4 is Three Quarters (of a Whole Note), 6/8 is Six Eighths (of a Whole Note). But we still don't use the fraction line. Sep 6, 2017 at 19:45
• @LaurencePayne It's very far removed. A measure of 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, ect. are equally whole, they just don't add up to what we call a whole notes. So the fraction comparison only makes sense when you have a measure that equates to a whole note and any other measure the comparison is nonsensical.
– Dom
Sep 7, 2017 at 13:50