B4Bass Time Signatures 2





Time Signatures

Beats 4 2 1 1/2 1/4
Value Whole Note 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16
Name Semi Breve Minim Crochet Quaver Semi Quaver

4/4 does NOT mean 4 beats in a bar even thought that's what it ends up being.

It means 4 crochets in a bar. (Take a look at the bottom number of the fraction Value for a crochet. = one quarter.)

So, 4/4 means 4 quarter beats in a bar. & is also sometimes read as or common time.

2/4 means two quarter beats in a bar (otherwise known as march time).

3/4 is Waltz time & lilts with three quarter notes to a bar.

The Irish Jig is set to 6/8. Imagine the 'didley didley' of typical Irish folk tunes & you have 'did ul ley did ul ley' or 6 syllables. The music is quite fast in tempo so quavers would be appropriate. So there six of them & they are quavers. 6/8.

This is a basic explanation of time signatures to allow students to read & understand them quickly.

For a very detailed university music theory level examination of Time Signatures, please click the Time Signatures 2 tab in the menu bar above.

You will be taken to a massive text page full of cross referenced links through contemporary and classical music.

This site was last updated 03/27/18

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