Music theory > Lessons > Duration of sounds > Time signature > 2/2 time signature example

2/2 time signature example

Explanation of 2/2 time signature

In the article time signature, this is explained that:

- the top number indicates the number of time units in a measure (bar united kingdom).
- the bottom number determines the unit of time.

We can visually translate time signature 2/2 like this:

time signature 2/2

That is to say that there are 2 half notes (minims united kingdom) per measure and the unit of time is the half note (a beat corresponds to one half note):

Beats in 2/2 time signature

1 half note half note (minim) (minim united kingdom) equals 1 beat.
2 quarter notes quarter note (crotchet) (crotchets united kingdom) equals 1 beat.
4 eighth notes eighth note (quaver) (quavers united kingdom) equals 1 beat.
and so on...

Examples found in famous works

Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.4

The first movement Allegro non troppo from Symphony No.4 in E minor op. 98 by Johannes Brahms begins with a cut time signature (time signature cut time) which is a shortcut for 2/2 time signature:

This sound sample is not of very high quality, but I think it has historical interest, because it was recorded in 1938 by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Felix Weingartner (source, Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license).

In this musical sample in E minor, you will notice the use of arpeggios and of an anacrusis.

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