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 3
, 3
, 3
and 9
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 6
usually indicates compound duple metre, and similarly 12
usually indicates compound quadruple metre.

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

    \new Staff <<
       \new voice \relative c' {
           \clef percussion
           \time 3/4
           \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4 = 100
           \stemDown \repeat volta 2 { g4 d' d }
       \new voice \relative c'' {
           \override = #'cross
           \stemUp \repeat volta 2 { a8[ a] a[ a] a[ a] }
    \new Staff <<
       \new voice \relative c' {
           \clef percussion
           \time 9/8
           \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4. = 80
           \stemDown \repeat volta 2 { g4. d' d }
       \new voice \relative c'' {
           \override = #'cross
           \stemUp \repeat volta 2 { a8 a a  a a a  a a a }

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.[1] play  Jazz writing has become more adventurous since Dave Brubeck's album Time Out.[2][3][4] One noteworthy example of a jazz classic that employs triple metre is John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things". [5]

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.

Triple metre in song

There are many classical works in triple metre. Joseph Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony is an interesting case, as the first three movements are all in triple meter, as is the "farewell" section of the final movement.

In hymns and other religious works it is still common, with tunes such as Dave Bilborough's Abba, Father following from more traditional melodies such as Slane (adapted form a traditional Irish melody), Cloisters (written in the 16th Century), Amazing Grace and Rock of Ages.

Examples of triple metre in contemporary pop music

In contemporary pop traditions (Soul, Rap, R&B, Rock) triple metre is much less common but examples do exist:

Some album titles reference the time signature like Jimmy Buffett's third album Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, jazz drummer Max Roach's Jazz in 3/4 Time and Davey Graham and Alexis Korner's 1962 EP 3/4 AD .

SWV's 1992 R&B hit "Weak" includes the lyrics "cause my heart starts beating triple time" but the song is in 4

In film music, the score to Peter Pan by James Newton Howard is remarkable in that it is almost entirely written in triple meter.


  1. ^ Schroedl, Scott (2001). Play Drums Today!, p.42. Hal Leonard. ISBN 0-634-02185-0.
  2. ^ May, Chris. "Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out" All About Jazz December 15, 2011 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  3. ^ Lamb, Evelyn "Uncommon Time: What Makes Dave Brubeck's Unorthodox Jazz Stylings So Appealing?" Scientific American December 11, 2012 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  4. ^ Smith, Hedrick; Hackel, Cliff "Brubeck's Trademark Style: Odd Time Signatures, Polyrhythms and Polytonality" PBS:Rediscovering Dave Brubeck Released 16 December 2001 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  5. ^ Gary Giddins (22 October 1998). Visions of Jazz: The First Century. Oxford University Press. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-19-987953-3.
(The) Rock and Roll Waltz

"(The) Rock and Roll Waltz" is a popular song with music by Shorty Allen and lyrics by Roy Alfred in 1955, although the identity of the lyricist is in dispute. Other sources cite a Dick Ware, Dick Wise, or Dick Wine.As the title suggests this novelty song is a waltz in triple metre, but it also contains a bass riff that is reminiscent of typical boogie woogie and rock and roll riffs.

The song is told from the point of view of a teenager who comes home early from a date, and catches her parents attempting to dance to one of her rock and roll records; only, having no frame of reference, the couple tries to waltz to the music.

The Kay Starr recording of the song, made in 1955, reached number one on the Billboard singles chart in 1956, staying there for six weeks. The recording was released by RCA Victor as catalog number 47-6359. It was Kay Starr's first recording of great significance for RCA Victor after leaving Capitol Records. She had a number of lesser chart entries on RCA in 1955, including "Good and Lonesome" and "Turn Right". She thought it was a joke when the A&R staff at RCA Victor picked it for her; it was so different from what she was used to recording. It was a No. 1 hit, a million seller, and one of the early songs of the rock and roll era.The track also spent one week at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1956.Other artists who recorded this song include Ann-Margret (in 1962), Annette Funicello (in 1961), Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music with Alice Lon on vocals (in 1956, Coral EC 81128), and George Wright in his 1984 album Red Hot and Blue.


3/4 or ¾ may refer to:

The fraction (mathematics) three quarters, ​3⁄4, equal to 0.75

Amar pelos dois

"Amar pelos dois" (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmaɾ ˈp(ɨ)luʃ ˈdojʃ]; English: Love for Both of Us) is a song performed by Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral and written and produced by his sister Luísa Sobral. It premiered on 19 February 2017, when it was performed in Festival da Canção 2017, Portugal's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, and was released as a digital download on 10 March 2017 by Sons em Trânsito.

"Amar pelos dois" is a jazz waltz with a lyrical theme of heartbreak after a breakup. "Amar pelos dois" received praise from music critics – some reviewers considered it Portugal's all-time best Eurovision entry. It earned the Sobral siblings two Marcel Bezençon Awards, and was included in the European Union Songbook as the all-time top Portuguese love song. The song topped the charts in Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. It peaked inside the top 10 in Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

At the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, "Amar pelos dois" gave Portugal its first ever win since their debut in 1964. It amassed 758 points, setting the record for the highest number of points in the history of the competition, and topped both the televoting and jury voting for the first time since Austria's "Rise Like a Phoenix" (2014). It is the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's "Molitva" (2007) and the first winning song written in triple metre since Ireland's "The Voice" (1996).


In a musical context, an Aragonaise (literally a person or thing from Aragon, a region in Spain) is a "dance of Aragon". This is a driving triple metre dance which is traditionally accompanied by guitars, castanets and hand clapping.

There are two famous musical compositions named "Aragonaise", one by Jules Massenet from his opera Le Cid, the other from the entr'acte to act 4 of the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet.


The courante, corrente, coranto and corant are some of the names given to a family of triple metre dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era. In a Baroque dance suite an Italian or French courante is typically paired with a preceding allemande, making it the second movement of the suite or the third if there is a prelude.


Fandango is a lively couples dance from Spain, usually in triple metre, traditionally accompanied by guitars, castanets, or hand-clapping ("palmas" in Spanish). Fandango can both be sung and danced. Sung fandango is usually bipartite: it has an instrumental introduction followed by "variaciones". Sung fandango usually follows the structure of "cante" that consist of four or five octosyllabic verses (coplas) or musical phrases (tercios). Occasionally, the first copla is repeated.

The meter of fandango is similar to that of the bolero and seguidilla. It was originally notated in 68 time, but later in 38 or 34.

Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing

"Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing", originally titled "Good Christian Men, Rejoice", is an English Christian hymn written by Cyril Alington. It was first published in 1931 and is mostly used as an Easter hymn.

If It Had Not Been For Jesus

"If It Had Not Been For Jesus" is an American Christian hymn (or, gospel song) of unknown authorship. It was included in four hymnals published between 1905 and 1938. The title is taken from the first line of the refrain. An alternative title is the first line of the first verse, namely "I Was a Deep Dyed Sinner". The song is unusual in that it is in triple metre, with three beats to the bar. That suggests that the song may have been composed by an individual whose name has been lost, rather than being ascribable only to "traditional".

The song was recorded in 1930 for Columbia Records by Blind Willie Johnson (backing vocals and guitar) with Willie B. Harris (lead vocals), who may have been his first wife.

Manic Depression (song)

"Manic Depression" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967. Music critic William Ruhlmann describes the lyrics as "more an expression of romantic frustration than the clinical definition of manic depression." The song is performed in an uptempo triple metre. It also features Mitch Mitchell's jazz-influenced drumming (he based the drum part on Ronnie Stephenson's drumming on John Dankworth's "African Waltz") and a parallel guitar and bass line. The song is included on their debut album, Are You Experienced and live versions appear on BBC Sessions and Winterland.Other musicians who have recorded "Manic Depression" include Jeff Beck with Seal, Besh o droM, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bonerama, Carnivore, Clawfinger, Larry Coryell, Tanya Donelly, Katharina Franck, Jan Hammer, Ben Harper, David Ryan Harris, Eric Johnson, King's X, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Nomeansno, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Styx, Type O Negative, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rozz Williams, Gitane Demone, and Alice Cooper's Hollywood Vampires.The original Hendrix performance of "Manic Depression" was used in a climax of season 4 of 1980s TV series Moonlighting while Bruce Willis's character violently destroys a BMW sports car, symbolic of his frustrations over co-star Cybill Shepherd's character.

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.

Narodil se Kristus pán

"Narodil se Kristus pán" (The Lord Christ Was Born), in English version "Be joyful, Earth and starry sky" is a Czech Christmas carol and Christian hymn. The text and melody come from the oldest preserved record of the song in Latin ("En Virgo parit filium") and Czech in the Gradual of the Czech Silver Museum in Kutná Hora, written in the late 15th century, but the song itself is considered to be older. Some historians date it back to the 13th century, while others believe it is originally a Hussite hymn from the first decades of the 15th century. The song is regarded as the most popular Czech carol and it is sung regularly today at the end of catholic Mass and other Christian worship services in the Czech Republic during Christmas time.

The simple and jolly melody has been varied several times, most notably into the German "Freu dich, Erd und Sternenzelt." The Old Czech tune did not contain the tritone (augmented fourth) in the beginning, which can be heard in today's modern editions without exception. In the oldest document, it is in triple metre.


The passacaglia (; Italian: [pasːaˈkaʎːa]) is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used today by composers. It is usually of a serious character and is often, but not always, based on a bass-ostinato and written in triple metre.

Peruvian waltz

The vals criollo (English: Creole waltz), or Peruvian waltz (Spanish: vals peruano), is an adaptation of the European waltz brought to the Americas during colonial times by Spain. In the Viceroyalty of Peru, the waltz was gradually adapted to the likings of the Criollo people. In the 20th century, the genre became symbolic of the nation's culture as it gained widespread popularity in the country.


The sarabande (from Spanish zarabanda) is a dance in triple metre.

Sextuple metre

Sextuple metre (Am. meter) or sextuple time (chiefly British) is a musical metre characterized by six beats in a measure. The beats most commonly have the pattern strong-weak-weak-medium-weak-weak, though this is not the only possibility. Like the more common duple, triple, and quadruple metres, it may be simple, with each beat divided in half, or compound, with each beat divided into thirds. The most common time signatures for simple sextuple metre are 64 and 68, and compound sextuple metre is most often written in 188 or 1816. A time signature of 188 or 1816, however, does not necessarily mean that the bar is a sextuple metre with each beat divided into three. It may, for example, be used to indicate a bar of triple metre in which each beat is subdivided into six parts. In this case, the metre is sometimes characterized as "triple sextuple time". Such a division of time may be encountered more frequently in the Baroque period: for example, variation 26 of the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach has 1816 in one hand against 34 in the other, exchanging hands at intervals until the last five bars where both hands are in 1816. Using 34 for both hands would result in continuous sextuplets.

Sextuple metre should not be confused with the similarly notated compound duple metre. While both are notated with time signatures that have 6 as the top number, the former has six beats to a bar, while the latter has two beats to a bar. In practice, 64 is more commonly used for sextuple metre and 68 or 616 for compound duple metre. When 68 is used to signify sextuple metre, often the words "in six" or the equivalent in other languages are used to clarify the metre. An example of a piece in true sextuple time is Charles-Valentin Alkan's Barcarolette in E♭ minor, No. 12 of his 49 Esquisses, which is in compound sextuple time (188).

Tamo daleko

Tamo daleko is a Serbian folk song which was composed on the Greek island of Corfu in 1916 to commemorate the Serbian Army's retreat through Albania during World War I. It is played in triple metre and begins solemnly in a minor key before switching to the relative major of the dominant key in the third line of the first verse, symbolizing hope before returning to the tonic minor key from the beginning. The lyrics to the song come in multiple versions, all of which end with the line "long live Serbia!"

The song became very popular amongst Serbian émigrés following World War I and was even played at the funeral of Serb inventor Nikola Tesla in January 1943. A symbol of Serbian culture and national identity, it came to be viewed as a form of national anthem in the Serbian diaspora during the Cold War, and some of its lyrics were prohibited alongside several other songs in Titoist Yugoslavia because they evoked the resurgence of Serbian national feeling. The identity of its writer and composer remained a matter of dispute for many decades. In 2008, historian Ranko Jakovljević discovered that Đorđe Marinković, an amateur musician from the village of Korbovo near Kladovo, was the song's original writer and composer, having composed the song in 1916 and secured its authorship rights in Paris in 1922. The song remains popular amongst Serbs in the Balkans and the diaspora.

The Way Young Lovers Do

"The Way Young Lovers Do" is one of the songs included on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison's second solo album Astral Weeks that was recorded in 1968 in New York City. The song is in triple metre, and the distinctive feel of the original recording of the song emerges from the non-rock style of double-bass phrasing by veteran jazzman Richard Davis and additional jazz musician session players, which combined with Morrison's soulful vocals, creates a relatively unusual combination of stylistic elements.

Brian Hinton believes that "The song is about growing up, an adolescent first kiss, and still conveys the same sweet mystery as 'Astral Weeks' but more upfront."In Ritchie Yorke's biography on Van Morrison he comments that Van Morrison told him, "On the second side 'Young Lovers Do' is just basically a song about young love" and that Morrison then laughed mysteriously.In a 1969 issue of Rolling Stone about Astral Weeks Greil Marcus remarks: "It is pointless to discuss this album in terms of each particular track; with the exception of 'Young Lovers Do', a poor jazz-flavored cut that, is uncomfortably out of place on this record, it's all one song, very much 'A Day in the Life.'"In his review, Scott Thomas writes:

"The Way Young Lovers Do" is an interesting one. On its surface, with its images of tranquil lovers walking through fields and kissing on front stoops, it seems to deliver the romantic bliss anticipated so fervently in "Sweet Thing". The music, however, betrays some disturbing undercurrents.

Étienne Richard

Étienne Richard (c. 1621 – 1669) was a French composer, organist and harpsichordist. Very little is known about his life and work.

He was born in Paris and came from a family of organists; apparently he lived and worked in Paris all his life. From 1645 he and his brother Charles were organists to Chancellor Séguier. In 1651 he succeeded his father as organist of the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs in Paris, working together with Nicolas Gigault. In 1652 Etienne lost both his brother and his father. The same year he succeeded the former as organist of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, and three years later, in 1655, he took his father's position at St Martin-des-Champs. His career soared by the end of the 1650s, and in 1657 he was employed as harpsichordist and teacher to the King. He also played viola and served as violist to the King's brother. Richard died in Paris in 1669, possibly in May.Although he was exceptionally well regarded at the court, only a few works by Richard survive (and some could be attributed to Charles, Pierre, or another member of either of the two Richard families of musicians that were active in Paris at the time): two organ preludes, four allemandes, 3 courantes, two sarabandes and two gigues, which came to us through the Bauyn manuscript. These pieces all show Richard as an excellent composer who had thoroughly mastered counterpoint and harmony. The organ preludes successfully combine the older, contrapuntal style of Jean Titelouze with the special attention given to the melody—a progressive trait, since French organ music was later dominated by a melody-based approach. One of the preludes contains several sections, while the other does not. Of the dance movements, the allemandes are historically important for showing the beginnings of the ornamented style that later French composers used extensively. The gigues exhibit unusual characteristics: one is written in the typical triple metre, but closes with a refrain in 2/2 time. The other gigue is in 2/2 time throughout and is virtually indistinguishable from an allemande.

Musical meters
Musical notes
Sheet music
and ancient

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