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2

You can use a variation of this snippet and use a dynamics context to display the time signatures, like in the following example: \version "2.18.2" \score { << \new Dynamics { \time 2/4 s2 \time 3/4 s2. \time 4/4 s1 } \new Staff \relative c' { \key es \major \clef treble << { g'8[-3^\markup { \italic "sempre ...


1

I don't have enough for a complete answer here (and I missed the bounty anyway) but I have seen some historical documents that might help narrow this down. To be clear: I don't claim any of the sources I cite here were revolutionary in their terminology (quite the contrary); they just happen to be things I was looking at recently that may be relevant. Early ...


2

Short answer : "most music is in 4/4" only if you don't look much outside western/european music and its derivatives. Indian folk/classical music for instance is replete with time signatures that warrant a life of study just by themselves. To these guys, playing in 4/4 all the time is a bit like playing everything in C major with 1/4/5 harmony would be to a ...


1

Time signature has nothing to do with seconds or time. In German we say Takt: 3/4 Takt or 4/4 Takt (this means beats/measure or bar. (The term "time" was confusing to me when I started working with notation programs written in English.)


4

A time signature tells you two things in a concrete obvious fashion 1) the number of beats in a measure and 2) what note gets a beat. For example in 4/4 there are 4 beats and the quarter note gets a beat. In 3/8 there are 3 beats and each one is an eight note. To your point if you play a song in 4/4 very fast it will take less time than a bar of 4/4 ...


0

To (over) simplify, the time signature tells us how many beats there are until the next strong beat. A march goes ONE two, ONE two (think LEFT right, LEFT right). So 2/4 would be an appropriate time signature. A waltz goes ONE two three, ONE two three, so 3/4. Much rock music is in 4/4 - that's ONE two three four, ONE two three four. These are beat ...


8

I do not believe there is a single comprehensive, sourced, and easily-falsifiable answer to this question, what you're asking is to some extent a question of psychoacoustics. In light of this non-answerability, some observations: Your assumption is not universally true; it is true only when localized to a particular subset of music, largely modern Euro/...


8

Others have already addressed the aspects of dance and symmetry, so I'll take a slightly different approach. The term "common time" refers to the use of "C" as a time signature. It looks like a C, and stands for 4/4, which happens to be the most common time signature, so people often explain it as "C stands for common time". But it's not a C. It's an ...


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