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1 vote

What is the time signature in Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"

I prefer 6/8, the most used metric for binary compound time. The bottom number could be 2,4,8,16 et cetera, and you still could read this perfectly. But 6/8 is most habitual. Through the whole song, ...
Rodrigo B. Furman's user avatar
0 votes

I don't understand the bottom number in a time signature

Time Signatures aim to tell us what the beat is and how many beats there are in a measure. There are two types of time signatures. Compound and Simple. Compound means the beat has a dot and Simple ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 14.9k
0 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

The composer Henry Cowell describes a system using different noteheads for 1/3 and 1/5 notes etc. in his 1930 book "New Musical Resources". This was never taken up by other composers.
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.3k
2 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

The system in common use has evolved over centuries not all in one go by any individual or committee. Could it be better - almost certainly yes. Is it likely to change significantly anytime soon - ...
badjohn's user avatar
  • 4,243
0 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

That would be the best way for the simple reason that it is very easy to play a fastest tap rate and then count down from that. You could have a 64th note, then 2 64th notes (a 32nd), then 3 (a dotted ...
willaim wesley's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Confusion with identifying the bottom number of the time signature of a song by ear

How do you identify the "bottom number" of a time signature just by listening? Short answer: You can't. Meter is an idea, not really something you can hear. Yes, downbeats are often ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 17.1k
1 vote

Confusion with identifying the bottom number of the time signature of a song by ear

why the note that gets the beat is necessarily an eighth note? Why couldn't it be a half note or quarter note or any or type of note? It could. We can be fairly definite about how many beats are in ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93k
0 votes

Confusion with identifying the bottom number of the time signature of a song by ear

First, let's think about the specifics of writing in x/1. While you would use the least amount of ink (whole notes have no stems, whole and half notes are hollow, quarter notes have no flags, etc...) ...
user121330's user avatar
2 votes

Confusion with identifying the bottom number of the time signature of a song by ear

Time signatures are cultural conventions, not a laboratory measurement of a physical phenomenon. Music is culture, and music theory belongs to humanistic sciences, not natural sciences like ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

Confusion with identifying the bottom number of the time signature of a song by ear

Identifying the denominator of a time signature by ear is impossible because it's arbitrary. It's a decision on part of the transcriber to which note value they map a beat. There are tendencies and ...
Divizna's user avatar
  • 2,504
11 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

Technically, third, fifth, sixth, etc. notes do exist - only they aren't usually called that. Here is what some third, sixth, twelfth and fifth notes look like: More commonly refered to with terms ...
Divizna's user avatar
  • 2,504
4 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

Why don’t we use irrational time signatures that would contain 3,5,6,7,9 for a bottom note and how would we count those note values in comparison to 4 (quarter note beats), 8 (eighth note beats), 16 (...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
3 votes

Confusion about time signature

I've learned that the top number in the time signature is the the number of beats in the measure and the bottom number is the length of note that equals a beat. Everybody learns that! It's more or ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
5 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

Little-known factoid - you can take the reciprocal of the bottom number of a time signature and get the fraction of a whole note each component note of the time signature takes up. For example: 4/4 ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.1k
6 votes

Why are there no notes called 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th etc?

When using time signatures in a straightforward way, it makes sense to choose ones that can be conveniently notated! We have quarter notes, so lower figure '4' is sensible. We have eight notes, so '...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93k
3 votes

Confusion about time signature

Time signatures have a complicated history. However, the current practice is fairly consistent, though not obvious. Measures and bar lines are primarily used to make music easy to read; the time ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.4k
3 votes

Confusion about time signature

It is a widespread myth that there are 6 beats in 6/8 time. 6/8 time is indeed two time or duple time. Two beats with a beat being equal to a dotted crotchet. That is what compound time signatures are,...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 14.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Confusion about time signature

I've learned that the top number in the time signature is the the number of beats in the measure and the bottom number is the length of note that equals a beat. That's half right. Top number is 'how ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93k
1 vote

Confusion about time signature

Compound duple has always been the most difficult to explain (for me!) and also to understand (for you and many others!) 6/8 can be counted in both ways, 123456, and 1&&2&&. That in ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
6 votes

Confusion about time signature

This is a slight confusion of terminology that happens all the time when teaching/learning about time signatures. The statement: the top number in the time signature is the the number of beats in ...
Elements In Space's user avatar

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