# Is there any way at all to tell if these measures are 6/4 vs. 3/2? [duplicate]

It's once again time for everyone's favorite game, "why is this wrong on my test?"

This time, it's a "name that time signature" question that got marked wrong.

In short, the only other answer that I would consider is 3/2, but it could technically be either right? The first measure obviously is divided into 1+2+3, but the second measure looks distinctively 6/x ish, at least with the greater classical style as a pretext. To me, there's nothing to suggest one answer over the other.

If it is in fact 3/2, how can I distinguish them in the future? I see that there's already a similar question about 3/4 vs. 6/4, but to me this is different because of this specific instance where the second measure looks to my eye to be two beats divided into three. At the very least, there's no clear way to distinguish them, is there?

If there is, how can I tell?

• @replete As I mentioned in the question, I at least find this to be different because "of this specific instance where the second measure looks to my eye to be two beats divided into three." Basically, while the linked question explains that there's a difference, I'm asking "what's the best way to know for certain when in doubt?" I did check the linked question, and I haven't found what I consider to be a direct answer to my question. I'll check again later this evening when I have time to make sure I haven't missed something. – General Nuisance Apr 9 '18 at 23:53
• The second bar may be in either two or three, but the first and third bars cannot be in two. – user48353 Apr 9 '18 at 23:55
• @replete They can though, can't they? But given the context, I concede it seems unlikely. – General Nuisance Apr 10 '18 at 1:04
• Having written out the full thing, I have to say that it feels very much like 3/2. Although while taking the test my eye gravitated toward the second measure, I have to agree that given the context, there isn't anything very 6/4ish about this excerpt at all. I think the real answer to my question of how to tell is to get more experience with sight reading/audiation/rhythm. – General Nuisance Apr 10 '18 at 1:34
• I'm nominating to open this although the questions seem superficially the same, the particulars on the grouping that answers the question is different. – Neil Meyer Apr 10 '18 at 6:56