Hi i looked at the score could not figure out what is the time signature it looks as though each bar is different and that there is not one. Am i correct?

2 Answers 2


It's in 4/4, as the C at the beginning tells us that. Whilst it is said to stand for common time - there are far, far more pieces in 4/4/ than any other time sig. - it's actually a broken circle. History tells us that long ago, religious stuff was in 3 time, representing the Holy Trinity, and signified with a circle. 4/4 came along, and the circle was broken.

You may have been confused by the groups of 3 quavers in Mahler's work. Some are purely that, worth a beat and a half, while others having a '3' under them. Those are triplets and take up the time of one beat (crotchet, quarter). Every bar works out to have the 4 beats that the 'C' at the beginning asks for.


The big C on the left is the time signature. It stands for "Common Time" or 4/4. If you add up the notes, they also give 4/4 as the obvious signature.

  • Ahh i see the 3 eigth notes are confusing:-) though in the fifth bar tbe bass cleff looks like 5/4 it has 6 eighth ans 2 quarters
    – LoveIsHere
    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:01
  • @LoveIsHere yes, again check the "3" which indicates triplets. Feb 26, 2018 at 12:59

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