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Time signature


Time signature

The time signature is written just after the clef (if there are accidentals, they are written between the clef and the time signature)


The top number of the time signature refer to the number of beats in one measure united states of america (bar united kingdom).

The bottom number determine the value of one beat and this number correspond to note values:

bottom numbervalue
1whole note (semibreve)
2half note (minim)
4quarter note (crotchet)
8eighth note (quaver)
16sixteenth note (semiquaver)
32thirty-second note (demisemiquaver)
64sixty-fourth note (hemidemisemiquaver)
128one hundred and twenty-eighth note (semihemidemisemiquaver)

For example 4/4 time signature can be understood as 4/4 time signature: 4 beats per measure and the value (duration) of a beat is quarter note (crotchet)

and 5/2 Time signature can be understood as 5/2 Time signature 5 beats per measure and the value (duration) of a beat is half note (minim)

Time signature examples

4/4 time signature (abbreviated by the letter C)


4/4 time signature means that there are 4 beats per measure and that one beat has for value quarter note (crotchet ) (quarter note united states of america / crotchet united kingdom)

Below is an example:


4/4 can be abbreviated by the letter C, this symbol C is called common time

but 4/4 or C are the same:


3/4 time signature


3/4 time signature means that there are 3 beats per measure and that one beat has for value quarter note (crotchet ) (quarter note united states of america / crotchet united kingdom)

Below is an example:


2/2 time signature (abbreviated by the symbol 2/2 time signature abbreviation)


2/2 time signature means that there are 2 beats per measure and that one beat has for value half note (minim) (half note united states of america / minim united kingdom)

Below is an example:


2/2 can be abbreviated by the symbol 2/2 time signature abbreviation, this symbol 2/2 time signature abbreviation is called alla breve (Italian), or cut time.

but 2/2 or 2/2 time signature abbreviation are the same:


Changing time signatures

The time signature can change during a melody, here is an example:



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