Music 101: Time Signature

To go along with our music theory, time signature is very important on sheet music, it helps with the style and the “speed” of the piece of music a musician is playing.

The most common time signature for a piece of popular music is in 4/4. This means that in a measure of music, you count four beats, that could be four quarter notes, ( one beat per quarter note). Also two half notes (two beats per half note), or one whole note (four beats per whole note). It can be a combination of any of the notes as well such as two quarter notes and a half note.

For time signatures there is also 3/4 (three beats per measure) or 2/4 (two beats per measure). The bottom note also changes as well. The bottom note means what kind of notes to count. With 4/4 it means you count by quarter notes, if its 2/2 then you count by half notes, or if you see something like 6/8 your’re counting by eighth notes (half a quarter note) but six beats in the measure. Most of the time you will see 4, 8, 16 for the bottom numbers.


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