Questions tagged [time-signatures]

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

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Meaning of time signature

In time signature, is the duration of a bar a fixed amount of time (like for example 1 second) or is it completely arbitrary? If the latter is the case, I don't see how time signature has any meaning ...
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7 answers
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What made 4/4 time the most common time signature?

Most music is written in 4/4 time, and in today’s world it seems to be the accepted norm. Now, that doesn’t mean mainstream music doesn’t use alternate meters, but it’s just less common than I ...
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How do different time signatures change how a song sounds?

I know that time signatures change how a song sound, but I don't know the rule, or how it does that. If a song is in 4/4 and it got changed into 6/8, I don't know how it would sound, or how much it ...
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What is the difference between 2/4 and 4/4 when it comes the accented beats?

What is the difference between 2/4 and 4/4 when it comes the accented beats? I have been taught that 2/4 is popular in faster music like polka. I also see some hymns written in both 4/4 and 2/4. 4/4 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Placing the downbeats in this five-bar passage in Bach's Italian Concerto

I am asking about bars 13-19 in the first movement of J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto (BWV 971; sheet music). My ear always hears bar 13 plus the first crotchet of 14 as one extended bar of 3/4 and then ...
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Time signature inconsistent

I'm trying to write the first measure of the Moonlight in Lilypond From my very basic knowledge the first measure is 4 x 3 x 1/8 = 3/2 long, but the special symbol (alla breve) seams to be a 2/2. ...
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What is the difference between 3/2 and 3/4 time signature [duplicate]

I am confused between these two time signatures. What is the difference really. I can listen to a hymn in 3/2 time and i can see how easily I can replace the halves with quarters and the quarters with ...
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Is it true that cut time means "play twice as fast as written"?

I was just reading an e-book and saw this sentence which really confused me: "Played twice as fast as written" - This isn't what cut time actually means right, or are there situations where cut time ...
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From whom did The Beatles steal the extra beat in "Don't Let Me Down?"

It's well known that The Beatles made good use of every existing musical idiom in their work, a side-effect of talent borne from constant live performance. In this case, I'm curious if anyone can ...
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BWV 825 Bach Partita: how do you play this Gigue?

coming from answering the question: How do I determine the time signature of a song? I ask you to give some answers for beginners: -how do you play the first bar? what time is this? 4/4? (we count ...
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How do I determine the time signature of a song? [duplicate]

I'm having some trouble with my music homework. I'm trying to figure out what time signature some of the pieces would be in I was able to do two of the questions (though I'm not sure of the answer ...
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Fit odd number of triplets in a measure?

I'm trying to pass a melody from my head to the sheet and it consists of 29 eighth-note-triplets but I can't figure out how to break them into measures. If I start with 4/4, I can fit 2 measures of ...
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What is it called when 2/2 is imposed in 3/4?

What is the name in music theory for when the feel of 2/2 is imposed in 3/4 time? For example in Waltz No. 2 by Shoshtakovich (i think its that one) there is a section about midway through where its 3/...
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Determining time-signatures by listening [duplicate]

I make a triange in the air (with sound of pine-app-le) for 3/4, and square (sounds like hop-scotch), but 6/8 hexagon is less accurate (no sound known), any ideas for it? 9/8 and other unsual ones are ...
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17 votes
4 answers
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How to notate time signature switching consistently every measure

It seems my musical journey's always pushing me into left field territory when it comes to notation ... So this time I'd like to know what would be a good way to notate a consistent switching of time ...
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Does this song have a tempo or time signature?

Does this song have a tempo or time signature ? How do you write and play this kind of music ?
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What is the name of the practice of rhythm being written as series of 2's and 3's?

I remember some time ago learning about traditional Irish music and how a lot of the music wasn't written with our modern time signature structure, but was instead written as a series of 2 beat / 3 ...
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3 answers
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Irrational meter - why the mark of a triplet in 4 half notes

Can someone please explain to me why the mark of a triplet in this 4 half notes? I understood how to play it but from what i read you can only write triplets on 3 notes like 3 eighths 3 quarters etc......
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3 votes
1 answer
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What's the meaning of this extra rest? [duplicate]

This is the first bar of F. W. Mecham Op 92 - American Patrol Semiquaver triplet + quaver + quaver rest + quarter rest 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/4 = 2/4 + 1/8 ...
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2/4 vs 4/4 time signature in Dixieland Jazz

I'm teaching on the IB Music Diploma Programme and am looking at an examiner's markscheme for a question about the Dixieland jazz piece "Tiger Rag" (similar to this version: ...
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how to get the time signature of my own songs [duplicate]

Lately I've been writing my own songs on guitar.i think most of them are in 4/4 time signature but i'm not pretty sure. how can i figure out the time signature of my songs? is there any way to get ...
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How many beats are in 6/8 time?

In 6/8 time, each measure contains six eighth notes. We are often told that therefore there are six beats in 6/8 time. But when my band plays a piece in 6/8, the conductor counts in two. Also, the ...
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Notes value surpass the time signature of 4/4

I'm playing on an acoustic guitar. I've just started learning notes notation and I can't understand how this should be played, as the value of notes seems to be larger than the 4/4 rhythm. From what ...
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1 answer
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I don't understand why multiple time signatures for the same theme

I just went to see "Beauty and the Beast" with a live orchestra. The movie was played on a screen with the orchestra performing the soundtrack. I was sitting in a place where I could see the control ...
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4 answers
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Why use odd time signatures?

I'm a beginner guitar player, and I'm trying to pick up some of the music theory behind the instrument, and one thing that I've sort of grasped is odd time signatures. I know what they are, and I can ...
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5 votes
4 answers
409 views

How does an apparent 4/4 arise from 2 totally unrelated time signatures?

So I have been listening to Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and I notice something that is unusual to me in his promenades. It has a 4/4 feel but it isn't written in 4/4 at all, instead it is ...
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BPM and Time Signature [duplicate]

I just recently learned about time signatures and the beat and I need to clearly understand the relations of these things, as for now I don't seem to do it. Please correct my thoughts on the following ...
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1 answer
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Timing of this slap guitar piece, is it right or wrong?

Several comments for this video remark that it is not in time. What do they mean? I can count a 4/4 beat to her playing, and for me it seems fine. So can someone point to me what is not in time here? (...
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10 votes
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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 ...
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Can Someone explain time signatures? [duplicate]

What is mean by 3/4, 6/8, 4/4 etc.? Some times T get confuse about how to choose time signature in DAW.
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1 answer
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Does lilypond have the ability to typeset bars in free or open time?

I'm using lilypond to arrange a new part for concert band by combining/picking and choosing from a couple of different parts that need to be covered, but we don't have instruments for on the ...
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1 answer
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Is this 4/4 or 6/8? [closed]

I never was much good at working this sort of thing out. Hopefully, a real musician can tell me. Thanks in advance. Please listen here.
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1 vote
3 answers
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How do you count this?

This piece is in common time (4 4), but I'm having difficulty counting it. I think the whole lower staff (all the note groups) should have the triplet mark but it doesn't (is this an error of the ...
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3 answers
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What time signature uses a C and a backwards C?

This just confuses me help would be appreciated
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1 vote
2 answers
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How to rewrite this rhythm from common time to 12/8 time?

How might one go about rewriting the following rhythm into a time signature of 12/8? I initially figured we could just notate each set of beamed eighth-notes with 4:6 above them to indicate that four ...
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1 answer
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How do I read 3/4 signature with "multiple instruments"

The following signature is a 3/4 but has notes that sum up to more than 3 quarter notes. After researching a while, I found out Time signature 3/4 seems to have more than 3 quarter notes in a measure ...
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1 vote
1 answer
4k views

Is dotted quarter note = 144 equivalent to quarter note = 96?

I have a piece to read that gives the tempo of dotted quarter = 144. Does that mean it's at a quarter note = 96? The piece has a time signature of 12/8, and I'm guessing each eighth note is played at ...
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3 votes
2 answers
146 views

Does anyone know if this is notated properly, or how to properly notate this rhythm?

I wrote this little melody/riff here: And while it sounds correct, I'm not sure if it's notated properly, with the correct time signatures and all. Could both the first 3/4 bars and the 2/4 bar be ...
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1 answer
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Keeping time in a bell choir

How do I keep time when I don’t play all the notes (bell choir). I’m a beginner and have never played an instrument. Thank you.
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1 answer
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What’s going on with the rhythm in the first half of Spiral Staircase by Luke Vibert

I assume this is some sort of polyrhythm but my brain refuses to be able to count it. Can someone shed some light on whats going on? The song in question:
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3 answers
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Metric accents in time signature

In my Tonal Harmony book by Kostka and Payne, it says: when rhythms are notated, it is customary to use beams,ties and dots in such a way that the metric accent is emphasized rather than obscured. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why go back and forth between 2 time signatures if they have the same feel?

I don't see this very often but I do see it in 1 of Chopin's nocturnes. In particular his F major nocturne op. 15 no. 1 It switches back and forth measure by measure between 3/4 and 9/8, well at ...
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2 votes
4 answers
344 views

Can the rhythm of any music with a consistent pulse be represented through a time signature?

I tried this with a lot of world music (I myself am an Indian) and majority of it, that followed a consistent pulse or a well timed rhythm, could be expressed neatly using time signatures. Can this ...
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4 answers
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Time signatures and verse

Recently I challenged myself to set a piece of religious text to music for SATB. However, I encountered timing issues caused by irregular numbers of syllables in verses, and when to break off phrases. ...
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4 answers
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Writing in 6/8 time for piano

I'm taking a beginner online piano class. When writing a song in 6/8 time for the piano, do all the notes in each measure both in the treble clef and bass clef have to add up to 6 beats and use eighth ...
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1 vote
4 answers
5k views

4/4 corresponds to 12/8 but 4/4 =/= 12/8

How is it possible that a 4/4 signature corresponds to a 12/8 signature ? 4/4 is equal to 1 and 12/8 is more than 1 . If i try to divide a 1/4 in 3 notes i get 1/12, not 1/8 as the 12/8 should be.
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6 votes
3 answers
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What is this old time signature (2 with a vertical line through it)?

On the fourth line of page 5 of the score of Fasch's Ouverture-Suite in F major, one reads a time signature that is the number 2 with a vertical line through it: What does it mean? I know some '...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to play notes over one and a half octaves/am I reading this music wrong?

I've been trying to play this piece: Focusing on the left hand for the highlighted bar, it looks like it doesn't fit in with the 9/8 time (7 beats in that bar I think). But if I try to play them ...
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1 vote
1 answer
228 views

Problem with understanding differentiating meters and time signatures

I am currently trying to attempt to transcribe the fourth movement of scheherazade by Nikolai Korsakov-Rimsky and around bars 30+ there is a time signature change which says: 2/8(3/8 6/16). In the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
237 views

What does this Time Signature mean?

In Debussy's preludes for piano, there is the number 5 entitled "les collines d'anacapri". It comprises the following Time Signature. One that I have never seen before, and was wondering what it meant?...
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