Questions tagged [time-signatures]

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

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4/4 vs 3/4 time signatures

I'm new to music theory so I'm sorry if my question is trivial. Is it correct to say that, in practice, the only difference between 4/4 vs. 3/4 time signatures is where the accents are located? To me,...
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Are there situations where a time signature is unknown?

My understanding is that a time signature like 4/4 time is known because certain beats are emphasized, for example: ONE, two, three, four. But let's say someone created a song with tempo alone (ie ...
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Time signature problems in Debussy's "Clair de lune"

Clair de Lune by Debussy is in 9/8, but this bar doesn't look like 9/8 to me at all. Can anyone help?
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Is there a typo in this exercise, or am I not counting correctly?

I have this set of right hand open string exercises for classical guitar. Many are in 4/4 but some are in 6/8 (see pic below). The notes are grouped in 6 but there is no tuple notation. Reading as ...
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Time signature change?

I'm using yousician to play acoustic guitar. These 3 images are from the same song. Every bar contains 3 quarter notes (the signature is 3/4) but at the part 3 of the song it becomes 4/4 then 7/8 ...
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Can a time signature of a song be changed to a different time signature?

As an example, can you change a time signature from standard 4/4 time to waltz 3/4 and can you change a waltz to standard 4/4 time? Or more generally, can ANY time signature of a song be changed to ...
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Time signature of Goldberg Variation 8

I can only hear it as 1-and-ah 2-and-ah, which would (I thought) make it 6/8, but it’s labeled as 3/4. Actually, if I’m counting in quarter notes, I can only hear 2/4 (1-and 2-and). (I heard it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
389 views

Converting passages written in non-dyadic time signatures into dyadic time signatures

Can passages of music written in non-dyadic time signatures such as 4/6 be written in dyadic time signatures, such as 4/4, or is there a fundamental difference that cannot be reconciled, or would this ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
494 views

How to deal with constant time signature changes?

So I am going to learn Mariage d'Amour on the piano, but the sheet music constantly changes time signatures. It jumps between 4/4 and 5/4. I even saw 3/4 and 3/8! Is there a way to learn this piece ...
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What is this "time signature"?

Piece: Nuper rosarum Flores - Dufay What does this "time signature" mean? I've read that it's about the taleas but I've read different stuff too, please help :)
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Songs that move between 6/8 and 4/4?

I am trying to do this for something I've written (4/4 in verse, 6/8 in chorus) but it's difficult to get in and out of smoothly, so I'm wondering how other people have tackled this. For my song, if ...
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Can this notation be considered either 3/4 or 6/8 time?

When I gave a worksheet today, 2 of my students labeled this notation as 3/4 time, simple triple. Are they wrong or is this acceptable? If it's not acceptable, why? Is it simply because it wouldn't ...
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How should I conduct a double time tempo change?

I am working on a pop arrangement. It starts out in a simple 4/4 quarter note equals 90 and then a tempo change doubles it. Now it's eight notes = 90 and quarter = 180. Do I change the time signature ...
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Is there no time signature in this mahler's piece?

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?
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How does bpm change affect the timing of notes?

I have a note format with beats represented as measure fractions that I want to convert to actual time (seconds). So given this data: number, title, measure, position 1 NOTE 2 0.0 2 NOTE 2 0.25 3 ...
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Is a whole note in seconds equal to 60 divided by BPM? [duplicate]

Say we have a BPM of 60. Does that mean each one of my whole notes is 1 second long? Because 60 beats per minute means I have 1 beat every second. (60/60 = 1) Or if I have a BPM of 120, then each one ...
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Can I ignore the bottom number in a time signature if I know the BPM? [duplicate]

I never remember what that bottom number means, can I just stick to the top number and call it a day? So in a 6/8 I could just know that it's 6 beats per measure (ignoring the 8). If I know my BPM (...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How do I explain a time signature switch from 2/2 to 4/2?

I am presently studying Nathaniel Dett's Chariot Jubilee, and the time signature switches from 2/2 to 4/2. What are some suggestions on how to approach explaining to singers.
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What is the difference between changing a songs beat unit and its BPM? [duplicate]

A song in 3/8 is typically twice as fast as a song in 3/4, so what is the difference from doubling the BPM? EDIT: I am aware of the difference between 3/8 and 3/4, but then what is the difference ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is this time signature with only one number?

I have recently come across a time signature I've never seen before. It is in a Baroque piece of music. Each bar has a minim crotchet minim crotchet which I think should indicate 6/4 compound time, ...
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What are the parts of a time signature called? [duplicate]

I'm wondering what the top and bottom numbers in a time signature are called. In math, the top number and bottom number in a fraction have specific names (numerator and denominator, respectively)—are ...
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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, ...
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LilyPond: Subdivided beam grouping for compound time signatures

I'm trying to write a 12/8 drum score in Lilypond, with a lot of 32nd note phrasing, and the default beam grouping looks a bit ugly to me: (Here's the above example in LilyBin: http://lilybin.com/...
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Important to be aware of time signature 12/8 switch to 6/8?

When you have a piece with the time signature 12/8 that switches to 6/8, is it important to be aware of this change? Or do you just play the notes? I understand that when 3/4 switches to 6/8 this ...
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What can one do to understand time signatures?

I am struggling with the basics of Time Signatures. For one, I see it as more of a 'beat' signature. Notation is old, and time signatures are of an age where there was no clock, or way of keeping time ...
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Confused by time signatures

I know people ask about time signatures often, and I've read some of the posts, and haven't seen an answer to what confuses me. I know that : 4/4 means 4 quarter notes. 3/4 means 4 quarter notes. So ...
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1 answer
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Transcribing Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen

Why is this transcribed like this It seems much more obvious to me to fit it into 3/2 time: Maybe the clue is in the 'split common-time' symbol? But perhaps it didn't have the same meaning in those ...
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4 votes
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556 views

What is this time signature?

I am working through an exercise which has me determining the time signature of measures, and I'm stumped on this one: In determining the value of the septuplet, I need to first determine whether the ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Tapping Hybrid meters

Let's say I have the hybrid time signature given by 5/4 = 3/4 + 2/4. Would I tap this as 5 evenly spaced pulses? or is it two evenly spaced beats divided respectively into 3 and 2 evenly spaced ...
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6 votes
2 answers
520 views

9/8 hybrid vs compound time

I'm just reading about hybrid meters: which combine simple time and compound time. It seems to me that the time signature 9/8 can have two possible (yet distinct) meanings. One possibility is that ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Too many Dotted Notes per Measure

I have the following sheet music: As you can see, almost every single note is dotted and/or tied. Actually, no: Every single note is dotted or tied. I don't have any formal composition training, and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
200 views

Why is Bonse Aba beamed the way it is?

Bonse Aba — a Zambian children's song — is written in 2/4. However, the beaming, as shown in this link, does not appear to reflect the quarter note main beats. Instead, it starts beams on beat 1 and ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Assessing the time signature of a single measure

Is it possible to tell the difference between a single measure written in 3/2 time vs 6/4 time, when looking solely at what is written, with no audio available? For example, consider a measure which ...
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0 votes
1 answer
209 views

What is the time signature of this piano rhythm? [closed]

I've attached a photo. I know the notation isn't correct on the treble clef and I'm really sorry for that. I just need to know the characteristics of this rhythm and whether 4/4 is a suitable time ...
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4 votes
3 answers
12k views

How to count in a dotted eighth?

I am a guitarist and often for various genres the dotted eighth delay effect is needed. I don't have subdivison functions on a delay pedal of mine, therefore I can only tap in crochets that are ...
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3 votes
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Meter and time signature headache

I'm having trouble understanding meter and time signatures. I want the complete logical rundown of what it means and how arrangement works, the arbitrary nature of it (some almost explain notation and ...
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2 votes
2 answers
134 views

Can somebody explain this manuscript to me?

Is it a pickup, an alteration of some sort? The time signature in the proper part (manuscript) is 2/4. This part is a trio in a march and it looks like the time signature is modified without showing ...
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Proper way to notate a half measure rest in between sections

I'm working on a score in 4/4 and would like to insert a half-measure rest in between sections. What would be the most appropriate/readable way to do this? Switch to 2/4 and back, like this: Or just ...
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How to improve rhythm timing on off beat rhythms

I am practicing Rock You Like a Hurricane by Scorpions for a long time, but I mess up on the timing in one or the other place. In that song, the snare comes at 3rd beat (or 7th if you count 8). And ...
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2 answers
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Can time signatures be written in the form of a fraction?

Is it OK to write time signatures as fractions like this: 4 - 4 instead of 4 4 ? Is it allowed? If yes, could you show me proof?
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7 votes
5 answers
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Notes not adding up to time signature?

First staff in 'Patterns for Jazz' (1970) by Jerry Coker+, doesn't seem to add up to the time signature. How would you interpret this? I'm just starting to learn notation, so not sure if this is ...
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2 answers
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What would a tempo of 120 in 6/4 timing translate to in 4/4 timing?

I'm writing a metal song that has a riff variation in a different time signature. I'm trying to figure out what the most natural BPM change would be so its less notable that I'm changing time ...
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1 answer
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Compound time and tempo indication in quarter note

I am studying a piece, the time signature is 12/8. The tempo indication is "Allegretto, (quarter_note) = 76". I am a bit baffled, as I expected a dotted quarter note. Is this a typo? Or is this ...
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1 vote
4 answers
3k views

How can I distinguish a time signature?

What is the easiest way to figure out what time signature you wrote a song in? I am self-taught and have never had a lesson. It's hard for me to put it all together. I'm getting there though.
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5 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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0/0 time signature?

In a piece my brother is playing there's a weird time signature - it looks like a zero over a zero: a 0/0 time signature. It seems that the bars have 5/4 in them (probably not 10/8, but could be as ...
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1 vote
1 answer
399 views

Is rhythmic notes upstrokes and downstrokes changes depending on what sound or feel we want?

I don't know the title is correct for my desire question or not tho I will try to explain as much best to make my question understandable. As we all know there are so many rhythmic note which work ...
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