# Time signature

The time signature (also known as meter signature,[1] metre signature,[2] or measure signature)[3] is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are contained in each measure (bar), and which note value is equivalent to a beat.

In a music score, the time signature appears at the beginning as a time symbol or stacked numerals, such as or 3
4
(read common time and three-four time, respectively), immediately following the key signature (or immediately following the clef symbol if the key signature is empty). A mid-score time signature, usually immediately following a barline, indicates a change of meter.

There are various types of time signatures, depending on whether the music follows regular (or symmetrical) beat patterns, including simple (e.g., 3
4
and 4
4
), and compound (e.g., 9
8
and 12
8
); or involves shifting beat patterns, including complex (e.g., 5
4
or 7
8
), mixed (e.g., 5
8
& 3
8
or 6
8
& 3
4
), additive (e.g., 3+2+3
8
), fractional (e.g., 2 12
4
), and irrational meters (e.g., 3
10
or 5
24
).

An example of a 3
4
time signature. The time signature indicates that there are three quarter notes (crotchets) per measure (bar).

## Frequently used time signatures

Basic time signatures: 4
4
, also known as common time (); 2
2
, alla breve, also known as cut time or cut-common time (); 2
4
; 3
4
; and 6
8

### Simple vs. compound

#### Simple

Simple time signatures consist of two numerals, one stacked above the other:

• The lower numeral indicates the note value that represents one beat (the beat unit). This number is typically a power of 2.
• The upper numeral indicates how many such beats constitute a bar.

For instance, 2
4
means two quarter-note (crotchet) beats per bar, while 3
8
means three eighth-note (quaver) beats per bar. The most common simple time signatures are 2
4
, 3
4
, and 4
4
.

By convention, two special symbols are sometimes used for 4
4
and 2
2
:

• The symbol is sometimes used for 4
4
time, also called common time or imperfect time. The symbol is derived from a broken circle used in music notation from the 14th through 16th centuries, where a full circle represented what today would be written in 3
2
or 3
4
time, and was called tempus perfectum (perfect time).[4] See Mensural time signatures below.
• The symbol is also a carry-over from the notational practice of late-Medieval and Renaissance music, where it signified tempus imperfectum diminutum (diminished imperfect time)—more precisely, a doubling of the speed, or proportio dupla, in duple meter.[5] In modern notation, it is used in place of 2
2
and is called alla breve or, colloquially, cut time or cut common time.

#### Compound

In compound meter, subdivisions (which are what the upper number represents in these meters) of the beat are in three equal parts, so that a dotted note (half again longer than a regular note) becomes the beat. The upper numeral of compound time signatures is commonly 3, 6, 9, or 12 (multiples of 3 in each beat). The lower number is most commonly an 8 (an eighth-note or quaver): as in 9
8
or 12
8
.

#### Examples

In the examples below, bold denotes a more-stressed beat, and italics denotes a less-stressed beat.

Simple: 3
4
is a simple triple meter time signature that represents three quarter notes (crotchets). It is felt as

3
4
: one and two and three and ...

Compound: In principle, 6
8
comprises not three groups of two eighth notes (quavers) but two groups of three eighth-note (quaver) subdivisions. It is felt as

6
8
: one two three four five six ...

These examples assume, for simplicity, that continuous eighth notes are the prevailing note values. The rhythm of actual music is typically not as regular.

### Duple, triple, etc.

Time signatures indicating two beats per bar (whether in simple or compound meter) are called duple meter, while those with three beats to the bar are triple meter. Terms such as quadruple (4), quintuple (5), and so on, are also occasionally used.

### Beating time signatures

To the ear, a bar may seem like one singular beat. For example, a fast waltz, notated in 3
4
time, may be described as being one in a bar. Correspondingly, at slow tempos, the beat indicated by the time signature could in actual performance be divided into smaller units.

On a formal mathematical level, the time signatures of, e.g., 3
4
and 3
8
are interchangeable. In a sense, all simple triple time signatures, such as 3
8
, 3
4
, 3
2
, etc.—and all compound duple times, such as 6
8
, 6
16
and so on, are equivalent. A piece in 3
4
can be easily rewritten in 3
8
, simply by halving the length of the notes.

Other time signature rewritings are possible: most commonly a simple time signature with triplets translates into a compound meter.

Though formally interchangeable, for a composer or performing musician, by convention, different time signatures often have different connotations. First, a smaller note value in the beat unit implies a more complex notation, which can affect ease of performance. Second, beaming affects the choice of actual beat divisions. It is, for example, more natural to use the quarter note/crotchet as a beat unit in 6
4
or 2
2
than the eight/quaver in 6
8
or 2
4
. Third, time signatures are traditionally associated with different music styles—it might seem strange to notate a rock tune in 4
8
or 4
2
.

### Characteristics

The table below shows the characteristics of the most frequently-used time signatures.

Simple time signatures
Time signature Common uses Simple drum pattern Video representation
4
4
or

(quadruple)

Common time: Widely used in most forms of Western popular music. Most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop[6]
2
2
or

(duple)

Alla breve, cut time: Used for marches and fast orchestral music. Frequently occurs in musical theater. The same effect is sometimes obtained by marking a 4
4
meter "in 2"
2
4

(duple)

Used for polkas, galops, and marches
3
4

(triple)

Used for waltzes, minuets, scherzi, polonaises, mazurkas, country & western ballads, R&B, sometimes used in pop
3
8

(triple)

Also used for the above but usually suggests higher tempo or shorter hypermeter
Compound time signatures
Time signature Common uses Simple drum pattern Video representation
6
8

(duple)

Double jigs, polkas, sega, salegy, tarantella, marches, barcarolles, loures, and some rock music
9
8

(triple)

Compound triple time: Used in triple ("slip") jigs, otherwise occurring rarely ("The Ride of the Valkyries", Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, and the final movement of J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041)[7] are familiar examples. Debussy's "Clair de lune" and the opening bars of Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune are also in 9
8
)
12
8

(quadruple)

Also common in slower blues (where it is called a shuffle) and doo-wop; also used more recently in rock music. Can also be heard in some jigs like "The Irish Washerwoman". This is also the time signature of the second movement of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.

## Complex time signatures

Signatures that do not fit the usual duple or triple categories are called complex, asymmetric, irregular, unusual, or odd—though these are broad terms, and usually a more specific description is appropriate. The term odd meter, however, sometimes describes time signatures in which the upper number is simply odd rather than even, including 3
4
and 9
8
.[8]

The irregular meters (not fitting duple or triple categories) are common in some non-Western music, but rarely appeared in formal written Western music until the 19th century. Early anomalous examples appeared in Spain between 1516 and 1520,[8] but the Delphic Hymns to Apollo (one by Athenaeus is entirely in quintuple meter, the other by Limenius predominantly so), carved on the exterior walls of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi in 128 BC are in the relatively common cretic meter, with five beats to a foot.[9]

The third movement of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 1 (1828) is an early, but by no means the earliest, example of 5
4
time in solo piano music. Anton Reicha's Fugue No. 20 from his Thirty-six Fugues, published in 1803, is also for piano and is in 5
8
. The waltz-like second movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony (shown below), often described as a "limping waltz",[10] is a notable example of 5
4
time in orchestral music.

Examples from 20th-century classical music include:

In the Western popular music tradition, unusual time signatures occur as well, with progressive rock in particular making frequent use of them. The use of shifting meters in The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" and the use of quintuple meter in their "Within You, Without You" are well-known examples,[11] as is Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" (includes 7
8
).[12]

Paul Desmond's jazz composition "Take Five", in 5
4
time, was one of a number of irregular-meter compositions that The Dave Brubeck Quartet played. They played other compositions in 11
4
("Eleven Four"), 7
4
("Unsquare Dance"), and 9
8
("Blue Rondo à la Turk"), expressed as 2+2+2+3
8
. This last is an example of a work in a signature that, despite appearing merely compound triple, is actually more complex. Brubeck's title refers to the characteristic aksak meter of the Turkish karşılama dance.[13]

However, such time signatures are only unusual in most Western music. Traditional music of the Balkans uses such meters extensively. Bulgarian dances, for example, include forms with 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 22, 25 and other numbers of beats per measure. These rhythms are notated as additive rhythms based on simple units, usually 2, 3 and 4 beats, though the notation fails to describe the metric "time bending" taking place, or compound meters. See Additive meters below.

Some video samples are shown below.

5
4
at 60 bpm
7
4
at 60 bpm
11
4
at 60 bpm

## Mixed meters

While time signatures usually express a regular pattern of beat stresses continuing through a piece (or at least a section), sometimes composers place a different time signature at the beginning of each bar, resulting in music with an extremely irregular rhythmic feel. In this case, the time signatures are an aid to the performers and not necessarily an indication of meter. The Promenade from Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) is a good example. The opening measures are shown below:

Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (1913) is famous for its "savage" rhythms. Five measures from "Sacrificial Dance" are shown below:

In such cases, a convention that some composers follow (e.g., Olivier Messiaen, in his La Nativité du Seigneur and Quatuor pour la fin du temps) is to simply omit the time signature. Charles Ives's Concord Sonata has measure bars for select passages, but the majority of the work is unbarred.

Some pieces have no time signature, as there is no discernible meter. This is sometimes known as free time. Sometimes one is provided (usually 4
4
) so that the performer finds the piece easier to read, and simply has "free time" written as a direction. Sometimes the word FREE is written downwards on the staff to indicate the piece is in free time. Erik Satie wrote many compositions that are ostensibly in free time but actually follow an unstated and unchanging simple time signature. Later composers used this device more effectively, writing music almost devoid of a discernibly regular pulse.

If two time signatures alternate repeatedly, sometimes the two signatures are placed together at the beginning of the piece or section, as shown below:

Detail of score of Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 2 in F major, showing a multiple time signature
Detail of score of Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 2 in F major, showing a multiple time signature

## Additive meters

To indicate more complex patterns of stresses, such as additive rhythms, more complex time signatures can be used. Additive meters have a pattern of beats that subdivide into smaller, irregular groups. Such meters are sometimes called imperfect, in contrast to perfect meters, in which the bar is first divided into equal units.[14]

For example, the time signature 3+2+3
8
means that there are 8 quaver beats in the bar, divided as the first of a group of three eighth notes (quavers) that are stressed, then the first of a group of two, then first of a group of three again. The stress pattern is usually counted as

3+2+3
8
: one two three one two one two three ...

This kind of time signature is commonly used to notate folk and non-Western types of music. In classical music, Béla Bartók and Olivier Messiaen have used such time signatures in their works. The first movement of Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor is written in 8
8
, in which the beats are likewise subdivided into 3+2+3 to reflect Basque dance rhythms.

Romanian musicologist Constantin Brăiloiu had a special interest in compound time signatures, developed while studying the traditional music of certain regions in his country. While investigating the origins of such unusual meters, he learned that they were even more characteristic of the traditional music of neighboring peoples (e.g., the Bulgarians). He suggested that such timings can be regarded as compounds of simple two-beat and three-beat meters, where an accent falls on every first beat, even though, for example in Bulgarian music, beat lengths of 1, 2, 3, 4 are used in the metric description. In addition, when focused only on stressed beats, simple time signatures can count as beats in a slower, compound time. However, there are two different-length beats in this resulting compound time, a one half-again longer than the short beat (or conversely, the short beat is ​23 the value of the long). This type of meter is called aksak (the Turkish word for "limping"), impeded, jolting, or shaking, and is described as an irregular bichronic rhythm. A certain amount of confusion for Western musicians is inevitable, since a measure they would likely regard as 7
16
, for example, is a three-beat measure in aksak, with one long and two short beats (with subdivisions of 2+2+3, 2+3+2, or 3+2+2).[15]

Folk music may make use of metric time bends, so that the proportions of the performed metric beat time lengths differ from the exact proportions indicated by the metric. Depending on playing style of the same meter, the time bend can vary from non-existent to considerable; in the latter case, some musicologists may want to assign a different meter. For example, the Bulgarian tune "Eleno Mome" is written in one of three forms: (1) 7 = 2+2+1+2, (2) 13 = 4+4+2+3, or (3) 12 = 3+4+2+3, but an actual performance (e.g., Smithsonian Eleno Mome) may be closer to 4+4+2+3. The Macedonian 3+2+2+3+2 meter is even more complicated, with heavier time bends, and use of quadruples on the threes. The metric beat time proportions may vary with the speed that the tune is played. The Swedish Boda Polska (Polska from the parish Boda) has a typical elongated second beat.

In Western classical music, metric time bend is used in the performance of the Viennese Waltz. Most Western music uses metric ratios of 2:1, 3:1, or 4:1 (two-, three- or four-beat time signatures)—in other words, integer ratios that make all beats equal in time length. So, relative to that, 3:2 and 4:3 ratios correspond to very distinctive metric rhythm profiles. Complex accentuation occurs in Western music, but as syncopation rather than as part of the metric accentuation.

Brăiloiu borrowed a term from Turkish medieval music theory: aksak. Such compound time signatures fall under the "aksak rhythm" category that he introduced along with a couple more that should describe the rhythm figures in traditional music.[16] The term Brăiloiu revived had moderate success worldwide, but in Eastern Europe it is still frequently used. However, aksak rhythm figures occur not only in a few European countries, but on all continents, featuring various combinations of the two and three sequences. The longest are in Bulgaria. The shortest aksak rhythm figures follow the five-beat timing, comprising a two and a three (or three and two).

Some video samples are shown below.

3+2+3
8
at 120 bpm
The rhythm of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk": It consists of three measures of 2+2+2+3 followed by one measure of 3+3+3 and the cycle then repeats. Taking the smallest time unit as eighth notes, the arrows on the tempo dial show the tempi for ♪, ♩, ♩. and the measure beat. Starts slow, speeds up to usual tempo

## Irrational meters

Example of an irrational 4
3
time signature: here there are four (4) third notes (3) per measure. A "third note" would be one third of a whole note, and thus is a half-note triplet. The second measure of 4
2
presents the same notes, so the 4
3
time signature serves to indicate the precise speed relationship between the notes in the two measures.

Irrational time signatures (rarely, "non-dyadic time signatures") are used for so-called irrational bar lengths,[17] that have a denominator that is not a power of two (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.). These are based on beats expressed in terms of fractions of full beats in the prevailing tempo—for example 3
10
or 5
24
.[17] For example, where 4
4
implies a bar construction of four quarter-parts of a whole note (i.e., four quarter notes), 4
3
implies a bar construction of four third-parts of it. These signatures are of utility only when juxtaposed with other signatures with varying denominators; a piece written entirely in 4
3
, say, could be more legibly written out in 4
4
.

The same example written using metric modulation instead of irrational time signatures. Three half notes in the first measure (making up a dotted whole note) are equal in duration to two half notes in the second (making up a whole note).
The same example written using a change in time signature.

According to Brian Ferneyhough, metric modulation is "a somewhat distant analogy" to his own use of "irrational time signatures" as a sort of rhythmic dissonance.[17] It is arguable whether the use of these signatures makes metric relationships clearer or more obscure to the musician; it is always possible to write a passage using non-irrational signatures by specifying a relationship between some note length in the previous bar and some other in the succeeding one. Sometimes, successive metric relationships between bars are so convoluted that the pure use of irrational signatures would quickly render the notation extremely hard to penetrate. Good examples, written entirely in conventional signatures with the aid of between-bar specified metric relationships, occur a number of times in John Adams' opera Nixon in China (1987), where the sole use of irrational signatures would quickly produce massive numerators and denominators.

Historically, this device has been prefigured wherever composers wrote tuplets. For example, a 2
4
bar of 3 triplet crotchets could arguably be written as a bar of 3
6
. Henry Cowell's piano piece Fabric (1920) employs separate divisions of the bar (anything from 1 to 9) for the three contrapuntal parts, using a scheme of shaped noteheads to visually clarify the differences, but the pioneering of these signatures is largely due to Brian Ferneyhough, who says that he finds that "such 'irrational' measures serve as a useful buffer between local changes of event density and actual changes of base tempo".[17] Thomas Adès has also used them extensively—for example in Traced Overhead (1996), the second movement of which contains, among more conventional meters, bars in such signatures as 2
6
, 9
14
and 5
24
.

A gradual process of diffusion into less rarefied musical circles seems underway. For example, John Pickard's Eden, commissioned for the 2005 finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain contains bars of 3
10
and 7
12
.[18]

Notationally, rather than using Cowell's elaborate series of notehead shapes, the same convention has been invoked as when normal tuplets are written; for example, one beat in 4
5
is written as a normal quarter note, four quarter notes complete the bar, but the whole bar lasts only ​45 of a reference whole note, and a beat ​15 of one (or ​45 of a normal quarter note). This is notated in exactly the same way that one would write if one were writing the first four quarter notes of five quintuplet quarter notes.

Some video samples are shown below.

These video samples show two time signatures combined to make a polymeter, since 4
3
, say, in isolation, is identical to 4
4
.

Polymeter 4
4
and 4
3
played together has three beats of 4
3
to four beats of 4
4
Polymeter 2
6
and 3
4
played together has six beats of 2
6
to four beats of 3
4
Polymeter 2
5
and 2
3
played together has five beats of 2
5
to three beats of 2
3
. The displayed numbers count the underlying polyrhythm, which is 5:3

## Variants

Some composers have used fractional beats: for example, the time signature 2 12
4
appears in Carlos Chávez's Piano Sonata No. 3 (1928) IV, m. 1.

Example of Orff's time signatures

Music educator Carl Orff proposed replacing the lower number of the time signature with an actual note image, as shown at right. This system eliminates the need for compound time signatures, which are confusing to beginners. While this notation has not been adopted by music publishers generally (except in Orff's own compositions), it is used extensively in music education textbooks. Similarly, American composers George Crumb and Joseph Schwantner, among others, have used this system in many of their works.

Another possibility is to extend the barline where a time change is to take place above the top instrument's line in a score and to write the time signature there, and there only, saving the ink and effort that would have been spent writing it in each instrument's staff. Henryk Górecki's Beatus Vir is an example of this. Alternatively, music in a large score sometimes has time signatures written as very long, thin numbers covering the whole height of the score rather than replicating it on each staff; this is an aid to the conductor, who can see signature changes more easily.

## Early music usage

### Mensural time signatures

In the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period in which mensural notation was used, four basic mensuration signs determined the proportion between the two main units of rhythm. There were no measure or bar lines in music of this period; these signs, the ancestors of modern time signatures, indicate the ratio of duration between different note values. The relation between the breve and the semibreve was called tempus, and the relation between the semibreve and the minim was called prolatio. The breve and the semibreve use roughly the same symbols as our modern double whole note (breve) and whole note (semibreve), but they were not limited to the same proportional values as are in use today. There are complicated rules concerning how a breve is sometimes three and sometimes two semibreves. Unlike modern notation, the duration ratios between these different values was not always 2:1; it could be either 2:1 or 3:1, and that is what, amongst other things, these mensuration signs indicated. A ratio of 3:1 was called complete, perhaps a reference to the Trinity, and a ratio of 2:1 was called incomplete.

A circle used as a mensuration sign indicated tempus perfectum (a circle being a symbol of completeness), while an incomplete circle, resembling a letter C, indicated tempus imperfectum. Assuming the breve is a beat, this corresponds to the modern concepts of triple meter and duple meter, respectively. In either case, a dot in the center indicated prolatio perfecta (compound meter) while the absence of such a dot indicated prolatio imperfecta (simple meter).

A rough equivalence of these signs to modern meters would be:

• corresponds to 9
8
meter;
• corresponds to 3
4
meter;
• corresponds to 6
8
meter;
• corresponds to 2
4
meter.

N.B.: in modern compound meters the beat is a dotted note value, such as a dotted quarter, because the ratios of the modern note value hierarchy are always 2:1. Dotted notes were never used in this way in the mensural period; the main beat unit was always a simple (undotted) note value.

### Proportions

Another set of signs in mensural notation specified the metric proportions of one section to another, similar to a metric modulation. A few common signs are shown:[19]

• tempus imperfectum diminutum, 1:2 proportion (twice as fast);
• tempus perfectum diminutum, 1:2 proportion (twice as fast);
• or just proportio tripla, 1:3 proportion (three times as fast, similar to triplets).

Often the ratio was expressed as two numbers, one above the other,[20] looking similar to a modern time signature, though it could have values such as 4
3
, which a conventional time signature could not.

Some proportional signs were not used consistently from one place or century to another. In addition, certain composers delighted in creating "puzzle" compositions that were intentionally difficult to decipher.[21]

In particular, when the sign was encountered, the tactus (beat) changed from the usual whole note (semibreve) to the double whole note (breve), a circumstance called alla breve. This term has been sustained to the present day, and though now it means the beat is a half note (minim), in contradiction to the literal meaning of the phrase, it still indicates that the beat has changed to a longer note value.

## References

1. ^ Alexander R. Brinkman, Pascal Programming for Music Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990): 443, 450–63, 757, 759, 767. ISBN 0226075079; Mary Elizabeth Clark and David Carr Glover, Piano Theory: Primer Level (Miami: Belwin Mills, 1967): 12; Steven M. Demorest, Building Choral Excellence: Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003): 66. ISBN 0195165500; William Duckworth, A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals, eleventh edition (Boston, MA: Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2013): 54, 59, 379. ISBN 0840029993; Edwin Gordon, Tonal and Rhythm Patterns: An Objective Analysis: A Taxonomy of Tonal Patterns and Rhythm Patterns and Seminal Experimental Evidence of Their Difficulty and Growth Rate (Albany: SUNY Press, 1976): 36–37, 54–55, 57. ISBN 0873953541; Demar Irvine, Reinhard G. Pauly, Mark A. Radice, Irvine’s Writing about Music, third edition (Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press, 1999): 209–10. ISBN 1574670492.
2. ^ Henry Cowell and David Nicholls, New Musical Resources, third edition (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 63. ISBN 0521496519 (cloth); ISBN 0521499747 (pbk); Cynthia M. Gessele, "Thiéme, Frédéric [Thieme, Friedrich]", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (London: Macmillan Publishers, 2001); James L. Zychowicz, Mahler's Fourth Symphony (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005): 82–83, 107. ISBN 0195181654.
3. ^ Edwin Gordon, Rhythm: Contrasting the Implications of Audiation and Notation (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2000): 111. ISBN 1579990983.
4. ^ G. Augustus Holmes (1949). The Academic Manual of the Rudiments of Music. London: A. Weekes; Stainer & Bell. p. 17. ISBN 9780852492765.
5. ^ Willi Apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900–1600, fifth edition, revised and with commentary; The Medieval Academy of America Publication no. 38 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Medieval Academy of America, 1953): 147–48.
6. ^ Scott Schroedl, Play Drums Today! A Complete Guide to the Basics: Level One (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2001), p. 42. ISBN 0-634-02185-0.
7. ^ See File:Bach BVW 1041 Allegro Assai.png for an excerpt from the violin part of the final movement.
8. ^ a b Tim Emmons, Odd Meter Bass: Playing Odd Time Signatures Made Easy (Van Nuys: Alfred Publishing, 2008): 4. ISBN 978-0-7390-4081-2. "What is an 'odd meter'?...A complete definition would begin with the idea of music organized in repeating rhythmic groups of three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen, etc."
9. ^ Egert Pöhlmann and Martin L. West, Documents of Ancient Greek Music: The Extant Melodies and Fragments, edited and transcribed with commentary by Egert Pöhlmann and Martin L. West (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001): 70–71, 85. ISBN 0-19-815223-X.
10. ^ "Tchaikovsky's Symphony # 6 (Pathetique), Classical Classics, Peter Gutmann". Classical Notes. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
11. ^ Edward Macan, Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997): 48. ISBN 978-0-19-509888-4.
12. ^ Radiohead (musical group). OK Computer, vocal score with guitar accompaniment and tablature (Essex, England: IMP International Music Publications; Miami, FL: Warner Bros. Publications; Van Nuys, Calif.: Alfred Music Co., Inc., 1997):. ISBN 0-7579-9166-1.
13. ^ Manuel, Peter (1988). Popular Musics of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey (rev. ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 131. ISBN 9780195063349.
14. ^ Gardner Read, Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1964):
15. ^ Constantin Brăiloiu, Le rythme Aksak, Revue de Musicologie 33, nos. 99 and 100 (December 1951): 71–108. Citation on pp. 75–76.
16. ^ Gheorghe Oprea, Folclorul muzical românesc (Bucharest: Ed. Muzicala, 2002), ISBN 973-42-0304-5
17. ^ a b c d "Brian Ferneyhough", The Ensemble Sospeso
18. ^ John Pickard: Eden, full score, Kirklees Music, 2005.
19. ^ Willi Apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900–1600, fifth edition, revised with commentary; The Medieval Academy of America Publication no. 38 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1953), p. 148.
20. ^ Willi Apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900–1600, fifth edition, revised with commentary; The Medieval Academy of America Publication no. 38 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1953), p. 147.
21. ^ Ernst Friedrich Richter, A Treatise on Canon and Fugue: Including the Study of Imitation, translated from third German edition by Arthur W. Foote (Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1888): 38. [ISBN unspecified].
(I'd Be) A Legend in My Time

"(I'd Be) A Legend in My Time" is a song written and recorded by Don Gibson in 1960. It appeared as the B-side of his hit "Far Far Away", from the album Sweet Dreams. Gibson re-recorded the song on the 1972 album Country Green.

Frequently covered, the song is usually titled without the parenthetical lead. Versions have been recorded by Connie Francis, Johnny Cash (on the album American V: A Hundred Highways), Waylon Jennings, B. B. King, Timi Yuro, and Frank Ifield, among others.

Roy Orbison covered the track for his 1961 album Lonely and Blue, and recorded a second later version which was featured on his 1967 tribute album to Gibson, Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson. A 1973 rendition by Sammy Davis Jr. became an Adult Contemporary charts, reaching #33 in Canada and #29 U.S.The song was recorded by Ronnie Milsap and released in November 1974 as the lead single from his album A Legend in My Time. This was Milsap's sixth country hit and his third number one. The single stayed at number one for a single week and spent a total of ten weeks within the top 40. Milsap's recording altered the song from its original 3/4 time signature to a 4/4 time signature.

Alla breve

Alla breve [alla ˈbrɛːve]—also known as cut time or cut common time— is a musical meter notated by the time signature symbol (a C with a vertical line through it), which is the equivalent of 22. The term is Italian for "on the breve", originally meaning that the beat was counted on the breve.Alla breve is a "simple-duple meter with a half-note pulse". The note denomination that represents one beat in is the minim or half-note. There are two of these per bar, so that the time signature 22 may be interpreted as "two minim beats per bar."

The name cut common time refers to common time, notated with the time signature symbol —the equivalent of 44. It uses a quarter note (or crotchet) beat and there are four per bar.)

Assyrian folk dance

Assyrian folk dances are sets of dances that are performed throughout the world by Assyrians, mostly on occasions such as weddings, community parties and other jubilant events.Assyrian folk dances are mainly made up of circle dances that are performed in a line, which may be straight, curved, or both. Most of the dances allow unlimited number of participants, with the exception of the Sabre Dance, which require three at most. Assyrian dances would vary from weak to strong, depending on the mood and tempo of a song.

Assyrian folk dances belong to five metric groups: 24 (10 dances), 44 (6 dances), 68 (13 dances), 98 (1 dance), 108 (1 dance). The tempo would usually range from slow (70 beats per minute) to very fast (140 beats).

Bar (music)

In musical notation, a bar (or measure) is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of beats in which each beat is represented by a particular note value and the boundaries of the bar are indicated by vertical bar lines. Dividing music into bars provides regular reference points to pinpoint locations within a musical composition. It also makes written music easier to follow, since each bar of staff symbols can be read and played as a batch. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the time signature. In simple time, (such as 34), the top figure indicates the number of beats per bar, while the bottom number indicates the note value of the beat (the beat has a quarter note value in the 34 example).

The word bar is more common in British English, and the word measure is more common in American English, although musicians generally understand both usages. In American English, although the words bar and measure are often used interchangeably, the correct use of the word 'bar' refers only to the vertical line itself, while the word 'measure' refers to the beats contained between bars. In international usage, it is equally correct to speak of bar numbers and measure numbers, e.g. ‘bars 9–16’ or ‘mm. 9–16’. Along the same lines, it is wise to reserve the abbreviated form ‘bb. 3–4’ etc. for beats only; bars should be referred to by name in full.

The first metrically complete bar within a piece of music is called ‘bar 1’ or ‘m. 1’. When the piece begins with an anacrusis (an incomplete bar at the head of a piece of music), ‘bar 1’ or ‘m. 1’ is the following bar.

Duple and quadruple metre

Duple metre (or Am. duple meter, also known as duple time) is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 2 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 2 and multiples (simple) or 6 and multiples (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature, with 22 (cut time), 24, and 68 (at a fast tempo) being the most common examples.

Shown below are a simple and a compound duple drum pattern.

Though it must, the upper figure being divisible by 2 does not of itself indicate duple metre. For example, a time signature of 68 usually indicates compound duple metre though it may locally emphasize simple triple, such as the famous example of Leonard Bernstein's song "America" from West Side Story.

The most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop is 44. Although jazz writing has become more adventurous since Dave Brubeck'sTime Out, the majority of jazz and jazz standards are still in four time.

Duple time is common in many styles including the polka, notorious for its obvious "oom-pah" duple feel. Compare to the waltz.

Binary measure refers to common time.

Foxtrot

The foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a 44 time signature instead of 34. Developed in the 1910s, the foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s and remains practiced today.

Jazz drumming

Jazz drumming is the art of playing percussion (predominantly the drum set, which includes a variety of drums and cymbals) in jazz styles ranging from 1910s-style Dixieland jazz to 1970s-era jazz fusion and 1980s-era Latin jazz. The techniques and instrumentation of this type of performance have evolved over several periods, influenced by jazz at large and the individual drummers within it. Stylistically, this aspect of performance was shaped by its starting place, New Orleans, as well as numerous other regions of the world, including other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.Jazz required a method of playing percussion different from traditional European styles, one that was easily adaptable to the different rhythms of the new genre, fostering the creation of jazz drumming's hybrid technique. As each period in the evolution of jazz—swing and bebop, for example—tended to have its own rhythmic style, jazz drumming continued to evolve along with the music through the 20th century. One tendency that emerged over time was the gradual "freeing" of the beat. But older styles persisted in later periods. The borders between these periods are unclear, partly because no one style completely replaced others, and partly because there were numerous cross influences between styles.

List of musical works in unusual time signatures

This is a list of musical compositions or pieces of music that have unusual time signatures. "Unusual" is here defined to be any time signature other than simple time signatures with top numerals of 2, 3, or 4 and bottom numerals of 2, 4, or 8, and compound time signatures with top numerals of 6, 9, or 12 and bottom numerals 4, 8, or 16.The conventions of musical notation typically allow for more than one written representation of a particular piece. The chosen time signature largely depends upon musical context, personal taste of the composer or transcriber, and the graphic layout on the written page. Frequently, published editions were written in a specific time signature to visually signify the tempo for slow movements in symphonies, sonatas, and concerti.

A perfectly consistent unusual metrical pattern may be notated in a more familiar time signature that does not correspond to it. For example, the Passacaglia from Britten's opera Peter Grimes consists of variations over a recurring bass line eleven beats in length but is notated in ordinary 44 time, with each variation lasting ​2 3⁄4 bars, and therefore commencing each time one crotchet earlier in the bar than the preceding one had done.

Living and Dying in 3/4 Time

Living and Dying in ¾ Time is the fourth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and the second major label album in Buffett's Don Gant-produced "Key West phase." It was initially released in February 1974 as Dunhill DS-50132 and later rereleased on Dunhill's successor labels ABC and MCA. It contains the song "Come Monday," his first Top 40 hit single.

Despite the title, not all the songs on the album are in 34 time signature. Four tracks use 128 time: "Pencil Thin Mustache", "Brand New Country Star", "God's Own Drunk", and "West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown," with a repeating 17 bar pattern, actually making the true time signature of this song's verses 518. The lyrics of "Nautical Wheelers" on Buffett's subsequent album, A1A, refer to "living & dying in ¾ time" and the song is also in 34 time signature.

Living in the Past (song)

"Living in the Past" is a song by British progressive rock group Jethro Tull. It is one of the band's best-known songs, and it is notable for being written in the unusual 54 time signature. The 54 time signature is quickly noted from the beginning rhythmic bass pattern.

The single reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.

Mass in B minor

The Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by Johann Sebastian Bach is a musical setting of the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass. The work was one of Bach's last compositions, not completed until 1749, the year before his death. Much of the Mass gave new form to vocal music that Bach had composed throughout his career, dating back (in the case of the Crucifixus) to 1714, but extensively revised. To complete the work, in the late 1740s Bach composed new sections of the Credo such as Et incarnatus est.

It was unusual for composers working in the Lutheran tradition to compose a Missa tota and Bach's motivations remain a matter of scholarly debate. The Mass was never performed in its entirety during Bach's lifetime; the first documented complete performance took place in 1859. Since the nineteenth century it has been widely hailed as one of the greatest compositions in musical history, and today it is frequently performed and recorded. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach archived this work as the Great Catholic Mass.

Metre (music)

In music, metre (Am. meter) refers to the regularly recurring patterns and accents such as bars and beats. Unlike rhythm, metric onsets are not necessarily sounded, but are nevertheless expected by the listener.

A variety of systems exist throughout the world for organising and playing metrical music, such as the Indian system of tala and similar systems in Arabian and African music.

Western music inherited the concept of metre from poetry (Scholes 1977; Latham 2002b) where it denotes: the number of lines in a verse; the number of syllables in each line; and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short, accented or unaccented (Scholes 1977; Latham 2002b). The first coherent system of rhythmic notation in modern Western music was based on rhythmic modes derived from the basic types of metrical unit in the quantitative meter of classical ancient Greek and Latin poetry (Hoppin 1978, 221).

Later music for dances such as the pavane and galliard consisted of musical phrases to accompany a fixed sequence of basic steps with a defined tempo and time signature. The English word "measure", originally an exact or just amount of time, came to denote either a poetic rhythm, a bar of music, or else an entire melodic verse or dance (Merriam-Webster 2015) involving sequences of notes, words, or movements that may last four, eight or sixteen bars.

Numbered musical notation

The numbered musical notation (simplified Chinese: 简谱; traditional Chinese: 簡譜; pinyin: jiǎnpǔ; literally: 'simplified notation'), is a musical notation system widely used in music publications in China (not to be confused with the integer notation). It dates back to the system designed by Pierre Galin, known as Galin-Paris-Chevé system. It is comparable to the Gongche notation from the Tang Dynasty.

It is also known as Ziffersystem, meaning "number system" or "cipher system" in German. It should be noticed that some other unrelated musical notation systems are also called cipher notations.

The same system or very similar systems are used to some extent in some other countries such as Japan (with 7th being si), Indonesia, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States and English-speaking Canada.

Quarter note

A quarter note (American) or crotchet (British) is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note (or semibreve). Often, musicians will say that a crotchet is one beat, but this is not always correct, as the beat is indicated by the time signature of the music; a quarter note may or may not be the beat. Quarter notes are notated with a filled-in oval note head and a straight, flagless stem. The stem usually points upwards if it is below the middle line of the stave or downwards if it is on or above the middle line. However, the stem direction may differentiate more than one part. The head of the note also reverses its orientation in relation to the stem. (See image.)

Sianos

Sianos is a Greek dance meant to open festivities or social gatherings. Sianos is also known on the island of Karpathos as Kato Horos (Κατω Χορος). The men start off the dance and the women eventually join in. The dancers hold hands in a basket weave (cross) formation. The leader and last dancer is always male. The time signature is in 2/4. There are six steps to the dance, which is similar to the Sta Tria.

Straight-ahead jazz

Straight-ahead jazz is a jazz music style from the period between bebop and the 1960s' styles of Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. It is considered the lingua franca of jam sessions, and can usually be contrasted with smooth jazz.

It has the following characteristics:

A walking bass

A swing 44 time signature in the drums

In the piano, syncopated chords in the left hand, and melodic, mostly single-note soloing in the right hand

A head followed by a solo by each melody instrument, and sometimes drums and bass, followed by a reprise of the headHowever, many Latin rhythms are also sufficiently well-established to be considered straight-ahead. See also jazz waltz.

Triple metre

Triple metre (or Am. triple meter, also known as triple time) is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 3 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 3 (simple) or 9 (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature, with 34, 32, 38 and 98 being the most common examples. The upper figure being divisible by three does not of itself indicate triple metre; for example, a time signature of 68 usually indicates compound duple metre, and similarly 128 usually indicates compound quadruple metre.

Shown below are a simple and a compound triple drum pattern.

It is reasonably common in ballads and classical music but much less so in traditions such as rock & roll and jazz. The most common time in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop is quadruple. play Jazz writing has become more adventurous since Dave Brubeck's album Time Out. One noteworthy example of a jazz classic that employs triple metre is John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things". Triple time is common in formal dance styles, for example the waltz, the minuet and the mazurka, and thus also in classical dance music.

Movements in triple time characterized the more adventurous approach of 17th- and 18th-century music, for example the sarabande, which originated in Latin America and appeared in Spain early in the 16th Century, became a standard movement in the suite during the Baroque period. The Baroque sarabande is commonly a slow triple rather than the much faster Spanish original, consistent with the courtly European interpretations of many Latin dances.

Triple metre is rare in national anthems – the national anthems of Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States being four notable exceptions.

Wanderlust (R.E.M. song)

"Wanderlust" is a song by R.E.M. It was released as their fourth and final single from their thirteenth studio album, Around the Sun, and peaked at number 27 in the United Kingdom and number 48 in Ireland. The song has a partially compound time signature; 4/4 in the verses and 7/4 in the chorus.

A version of the song, called "Wanderlust (Clayton St. Studio version)", was released as a digital download only and later added in the compilation AthFest 10.

Wild Side (Mötley Crüe song)

"Wild Side" is a single by American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. It was released on their 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls.

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