5/4 time signature example
Explanation of 5/4 time signature
In the article time signature, this is explained that:
- the top number indicates the number of time units in a measure (bar ).
- the bottom number determines the unit of time.
We can visually translate 5/4 like this:
That is to say that there are 5 quarter notes (crotchets ) per measure and the unit of time is the quarter note (a beat corresponds to one quarter note):
1 quarter note (crotchet ) equals 1 beat.
2 eighth notes (quavers ) equals 1 beat.
4 sixteenth notes (semiquavers ) equals 1 beat.
and so on...
Examples found in famous works
Mars (The Planets) by Gustav HolstGustav Holst (1874 - 1934) wrote a suite for symphony orchestra entitled The Planets. This work was written between 1914 and 1917 and is composed of seven movements, the first is entitled Mars, the Bringer of War.
Structure of a 5/4 measure
Most of the time there are two ways to conceptualize a time signature: either 3 + 2 or 2 + 3:
In Gustav Holst's Mars movement this is a 3 + 2.
In a 3 + 2, strong beats are 1 and 4.
In a 2 + 3, strong beats are 1 and 3.
Symphony n°6, Allegro con grazia, Tchaïkovski
Among the romantic repertoire is a masterpiece and a very good example of a 5/4 time signature: The second movement (Allegro con grazia) of Symphony No.6 in B minor by Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). You will notice the use of triplets.
The melody is played by the cello section (all cellos of the orchestra).