Questions tagged [time-signatures]

Numeric ratio indicating the subdivision of measures according to groups of beats.

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4 answers
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On the difference between 4/4 and 4/2 time signatures [duplicate]

I am new to music theory and I was going through this video on YouTube to understand time signatures. The author mentions that the top number indicates number of beats. I understand what this means. ...
4 votes
4 answers
683 views

At what speed should notes be played?

I'm in the very early stages of reading music. There are great resources on the internet but I'm struggling to find a suitable explanation for a 'Time Signature' that I completely understand. I think ...
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Proper way to practice piano

I'm 21 years old and have been studying piano for only 6 months now. I'm following John Thompson's course, hanon exercises and currently in 3rd grade. My worry is that I'll be working soon, and I ...
2 votes
2 answers
474 views

What should an almost empty measure look like in 5/2 time?

I am working on an exercise where I am given a few empty bars along with a time signature; and I am to fill it in with rests following the standard rules. In 5/2 time, I am given 4 measures, each ...
5 votes
3 answers
406 views

Can't understand 16th notes connected by beams [duplicate]

The following section (mm. 49–52) is from "Metamorphosis II" by Philip Glass with 4/4 signature. I don't understand how beats are adding up: There are 4x6 16th notes in each G clef measure, ...
7 votes
4 answers
147 views

Drumming: Where do backbeats/snares go in 2/2 time

In the vast majority of modern popular 4/4 music involving drum kits (jazz, hip hop, rock, country, etc.) the snare hits (or equivalent 'pat' noise) occur on the backbeats (2 and 4). Of course, like ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Notation question: Adding half a beat to a bar?

I've run into a quirk in a piece I'm writing, something I've never had to deal with—any ideas?: The piece is in 4/4. One bar has an extra half-beat (with 18 sixteenth notes rather than 16). 4.5/4 = 9/...
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

Placing rest symbols according the convention of the time signature

I am preparing for a music school entry exam and I am given following problem: "In the following example, place the missing rest symbols in the brackets. It's possible, that you have to write ...
2 votes
5 answers
2k views

Time Signature in Bruno Mars's 24k Magic Breakdown

How do I notate the time signature in the Breakdown of Bruno Mars's 24K Magic (Around 2:40). It is an 8-bar breakdown. At first I thought that 4/4 would be suitable. However, it seems very unnatural ...
3 votes
4 answers
716 views

Cannot get bar to accord with time signature [duplicate]

If you look at the image below, you'll see that the 3 treble bars and the first two bass bars accord with 3/4 time, but the last bass bar to my mind does not. I also do not understand where the rest ...
7 votes
4 answers
750 views

Can any score-writer do 'irrational' time signatures?

I know I can write them as metrical modulations but I prefer to write them like this: ...which Sibelius can't do. I have to switch to a graphics program and it's time-consuming. The main advantage of ...
5 votes
5 answers
6k views

General questions about piano sheet music notation

This is the song I wanted to do, not on a piano but in FL Studio. But I don't play the piano so I need some help in dissecting this piece. Those ##C, what do those mean (and what are they called?) ...
7 votes
6 answers
3k views

Norwegian Wood, no consensus of rhythm and feel?

I have seen many different song sheets for the Beatles Song Norwegian Wood using time signatures of 3/4, 6/8 and 12/8. My question is, why are they all different, why is there no consensus? What I ...
5 votes
3 answers
806 views

Is the meter of this bar 3/4 or 6/8? [duplicate]

Sorry if this is a really basic question but I'm really confused about the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 and was hoping to get some explanation about this bar in particular: This bar can be read ...
4 votes
3 answers
329 views

Where to put the bar lines in free measure music?

My guess is to put the bar lines where aesthetically a phrase ends and another begins, but it seems completely abstract and I want to be precise. The phrases of the piece that I'm writing are of ...
2 votes
2 answers
59 views

How do I interpret note lengths in this song? [duplicate]

I've only just recently begun learning the basics of time signatures and counting beats, and I'm having trouble applying what I've learned to real sheet music. Consider the second measure in this ...
5 votes
1 answer
258 views

What symbol is used to go from common time to half time?

What symbol do I use to go from common time to half time when notating that particular change?
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it proper to change time signature for one measure?

I am trying to write down some music that I've made and I have this problem: some parts require a change in time signature in order the phrase to fit, just for one or two measures. It can go from 4/4 ...
6 votes
5 answers
234 views

Notes not adding up to time signature How to play this?

Hi, any idea how to play this piece? The note on the last beats are not adding up to 6/8.
8 votes
4 answers
914 views

Gnossiennes and Free Time

I'm looking at Erik Satie's Gnossiennes, specifically Nos. 1-3, but for simplicity let's just consider Gnossienne No. 1. Most editions (see IMSLP) are engraved without a time signature nor with any ...
7 votes
3 answers
593 views

Eliminate ties via additive meter?

I'm making a piano arrange of 裸の勇者. Many times, I put ties in the middle of the bar: These ties are noisy; I'd like to remove them. But I placed them there in the belief that they're required for ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Trying to understand non-standard polymeter

I've linked below to the song by Meshuggah, "Break those bones who sinews gave it motion". What is the rhythmic technique/grouping that the drums and distorted ...
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

How would I write 5 eighth notes (as one note, and ties are ok) in 6/4 time signature?

I'm not sure if i should write it as an eight note tied to a dotted eight note, or maybe a half note tied to a 16th note or what I don't know.
8 votes
5 answers
709 views

How are beats divided in simple/compound/odd meters supposed to sound different?

This is a question somewhat difficult to explain, in music theory it is said that simple, compound and odd meters subdivide into beats that are grouped into 2s for simple, 3s for compound and 2s 3s or ...
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

What note would be used to fit 4 notes in a 5/8 time signature

What note represents 1.25 beats. Or in other words 4 notes in 5/8 time.
7 votes
1 answer
177 views

Two Time Signatures: Bach Prelude in D Major BWV 874 [duplicate]

I'm currently learning Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D Major, No. 5 WTC 2, BWV 874. At the beginning of the prelude, there are two time signatures given - cut time (2/2) and a 12/8 time signature. I ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to remember how much irregular groupings are worth

I'm currently studying piano music theory and I have a hard time figuring out how much triplets, duplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets, and septuplets are worth in different time signatures (...
13 votes
7 answers
5k views

Can one use a whole note to span a full 5/4 measure?

I'm transcribing a piano passage in 5/4 time here, and I think I'm doing well so far. I find myself mildly annoyed by having to notate the chords that span the whole measure (first in right hand, ...
1 vote
2 answers
177 views

Would this bass line be heard as 5/4 or 4/4?

Assuming no other instruments (such as drums, in particular) are providing any clues about the time signature, would the following bass line be heard by people as 5/4 or 4/4 (all quarter notes, all ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why does this time signature have addition?

I found this piece of music that has an odd time signature. I unfortunately do not have the music with me, but the time signature looks like this: 2+2+3+2 8 I have been playing this as 9/8, but am ...
-1 votes
1 answer
214 views

Uncommon Time Signatures

I'm trying to learn about time signatures. I'm pretty sure I've correctly identified the "colored" ones in the attached image, but cannot find any info on the web on the non-colored ones. ...
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Time signature and Tempo

When I am jamming along a song, I do get carried away especially after the chorus when strumming is emphasised. I tend to speed up. You see in intro strumming is kinda not so much emphasised, it's ...
2 votes
3 answers
43 views

tempo of fantasia in D-minor from Mozart

Fantasia in D-Minor from Mozart K397 is written in 2/2 (alla breve). The first part of it should be played Andante (let's say 80 half notes in one minute). In reality, it is played much much slower ...
3 votes
3 answers
169 views

Why is the second movement to Beethoven's 9th notated in fast 3/4, rather than in 3/8?

Looking at the score for Beethoven's 9th symphony, it surprises me how the second movement is written in a breakneck 3/4 at 116 dotted half notes per minute. Why did Beethoven opt for this 3/4, rather ...
22 votes
4 answers
88k views

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo?

What is the connection between time-signature, beat, and tempo? Mainly time-signature and tempo. Tempo is beats-per-minute I know, but does the time-signature affect it? For example, in a 120bpm tempo,...
4 votes
2 answers
224 views

Writing notes without knowing their duration - can it be done in Musink Lite?

Today my classmates put me onto Musink Lite. If I understand well, the idea is that it somehow 'knows' how long your notes should be, so it becomes one click per note. I like it, but as a newbie I don'...
9 votes
7 answers
5k views

When does the amount of beats not add up to the time signature? (Besides pickup measures)

I read from https://www.boundless.com/users/232513/textbooks/understanding-basic-music-theory/notation-1/time-8/pickup-notes-and-measures-54-13529/ that there are exceptions to the rule that there ...
0 votes
3 answers
231 views

How to calculate music sheet symbols duration, in Midi file

I want to make music in computer programming language. but I don't know how to calculate music sheet symbols duration by attention to tempo and time signature. I was confused about that because ...
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Hearing the time signature switch of a cover of the "Mission Impossible Theme"

The original 1966 score of "Mission impossible" was written entirely in 5/4 time (you can listen to it here). For the first movie staring Tom Cruise, the theme was rewritten by two U2 band members, ...
7 votes
6 answers
17k views

Which time signatures are associated with particular types of music? [closed]

A waltz is always played in 3/4 time, but are there any other types of music that are associated with specific time signatures?
3 votes
3 answers
188 views

How can you tell the difference between 3/4 time and 6/8 time? Or 3/2 time and 6/4 time?

When given any sheet of music without the time signature and you are given the choice of 3/4 and 6/8, how would you know which one would be the appropriate choice?
7 votes
2 answers
263 views

Do I have to notate "eighth equal quarter" when the time signature changes?

I cannot recall which tempo marking I saw but it is something like "♩=♪" or "♩=♩."on the top of the staff when time signature changes. Does that mean the overall speed doesn't ...
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

The Actual Purpose of the Bottom Number in Time Signatures [duplicate]

I understand that 4/4 time signatures mean that there are 4 beats per measure, and that those beats are quarter notes. However this is the point where I get confused as I’ve listened to and have seen ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Strumming along low BPM song

I am fairly comfortable strumming along a song with 80 or more BPM, however for songs lower that I struggle to keep up. How should I practice?
2 votes
2 answers
136 views

How to determine whether song is 16 bar blues or 32 bar form?

I'm analyzing blues in the Mississippi Delta tradition and the hardest/most subjective aspect I am running into has to do with songs with measure numbers divisible by 8. For example, we can use "...
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Understanding Time Signature: How do I identify the time signature of a song?

I have played music for years and I still don't understand what a time signature actually signifies. I understand it from a superficial sense. If given sheet music I could tell you what time ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What time signature should I use with partial triplets?

Say I have six groupings of eighth note triplets, 18 total notes. I want to play 16 eighth note triplets, leave off the last two notes ("partial triplet"), and repeat the section. To my ear, ...
0 votes
2 answers
84 views

How to figure out time signature of complex type

Here according to me the left side time signature is 9/8 and the right side is 4/4. Am I going down the right path or are my thoughts wrong ?
7 votes
4 answers
11k views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
2 votes
2 answers
140 views

Is "24th note" a valid denotation of 16th note triplets?

The sequencers I own allow for quantized 16th note triplet input by selecting 1/24 as the note length. Some of my sequencers also allow for time signatures with 24 as the bottom number. This is ...

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