There seems to be a significance of one bar, certain notes happen every bar at roughly the same position. But how can I calculate how many ticks there are per bar using ticks per beat of the song and and tempo of the track?

Since the bars are lined up for all tracks, I assume that ticks per bar is independent of tempo.

  • 1
    Can you define ticks here? Not sure what that is in a musical context. Song tempos are usually marked in BPM (beats per minute) so quarter note = 60BPM would be a beat every second. If the time signature is 4/4 (the most common) you get a bar every 4 seconds. A beat every second.
    – b3ko
    Jun 26, 2019 at 19:45
  • 2
    @b3ko A tick is a unit of time used in MIDI. Jun 26, 2019 at 22:03
  • @todd_wilcox ah, i missed the midi tag.
    – b3ko
    Jun 27, 2019 at 1:14
  • @ToddWilcox - a unit of time - rather like a beat is a unit of time? Timing rather than time? And can any number of ticks be assigned to a beat?
    – Tim
    Jun 27, 2019 at 10:49
  • 2
    @Tim Basically, yes, although it must be a positive integer, and I think there's a maximum. Also, ticks per beat cannot be changed during a song. In other words, the MIDI spec requires exactly one ticks per beat setting for an entire file. I think for most systems, pulses-per-quarter-note (PPQ) and ticks per beat are the same thing. It looks like many software packages have "standardized" to 960 ticks per beat. Notice 960 is divisible by 3, 4, and 5, allowing easy duple time, triplets or compound time, and quintuplets. Jun 27, 2019 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


The number of ticks in a bar is just the number of ticks per beat multiplied by the number of beats in a bar. If you are in 4/4 time and have 4 ticks per beat then you have 16 ticks per bar.
This has nothing to do with the tempo.

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