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Time signature

Time Signature


In music theory , the time signature indicates the type and length of time in the following steps. Also known as quantification of the extent or number indicators, it is generally composed of two numbers arranged one below the other representing a fraction.

It is placed after the key and armor. If it changes during the piece, it is placed after a double bar, it is called change of encryption or change of position.

When two different measures are used alternately (regular or not), for example a 3 / 4 alternating with 4 / 4, sometimes use a double encryption at the beginning (by 3 / 4 and 4 / 4) to alleviate partition.


Both figures are a fraction of encryption (without the horizontal bar) whose unit value is still around. Encryption four quarters is sometimes represented by a "C", and costing 2 / 2 with "C strikethrough".

One can find a single number that indicates when the sheer number of measuring time.

Encryption is always a measure statement beginning with the higher number. For example, the quantifications 3/4, 5/2 and 12/8, respectively, are set "three four" "five two" and "twelve eight."

Encryption traditional simple measures

In a simple measurement time (measurement time binary ), the fraction of encryption takes into account the values equal to the unit of time.

The numerator of the fraction (number above) indicates the number of beats used in the measurement:

  • 2/4 means "a measure to two black"
  • 3/2, "a measure to three white"
  • 6/8, "a measure six quavers.

The denominator (lower number) indicates the time unit of measure, using the following convention:

  • The number 1 represents the round;
  • 2 shows the number of white (or half a round);
  • the number 4 represents the black (or fourth round);
  • the number 8 represents the eighth (or eighth round);
  • the number 16 represents a sixteenth note (or sixteenth round).


Encryption traditional compound measures

To a compound time (a measurement time ternary ), the fraction of encryption takes into account the values equal to one third of the time.

The unit is indicated by the denominator third time and uses the following convention:

  • the number 2 is always white;
  • the number 4 represents the black
  • the number 8 represents the eighth;
  • the number 16 represents the sixteenth note.

The top number indicates the number of third time defined above to give the value of a whole bar (it is always a multiple of three).

Chiffrage traditionnel des mesures composées

Modern Encryption

The quantifications traditional defined above are ambiguous: an encryption 3 / 2 may both indicate that a simple measure composite measure. Even if just looking at the notes of a measure to determine the type used, quantification is more rational but still uncommon.

This encryption is represented by a single number with a small figure of note placed either above or below. The figure gives the number of beats of the measure, and the figure of note gives the unit used.

Multiple Encryption with numerator

Chiffrage à numérateur multiple

An encryption in the numerator is a multiple encryption particularly where the numerator is composed of several numbers representing many different periods. The denominator in turn indicates a figure of note, as usual in the figures.

This estimate is used to indicate a measure unequal time, sometimes called asymmetrical measures. In the encryption "3+2" 8, the numerator "3+2" indicates a measurement in two unequal times: the first is ternary (unit of time: the black dotted), the second is binary (time unit: the black).

When dealing with an asymmetric measure, the traditional concept of tempo - steady beat and equal time - always retains its meaning: it is the rhythmic value is the shortest pulse. Some composers such as Bela Bartok have used this type of rhythmic structure in their adaptations of traditional music from Central Europe, but the measures are asymmetric exceptional musical classic .

(Source: - copyright authors - article under GFDL)

Creation date : 16/03/2009 16:43
Category : - Solfeggio
Page read 27275 times


Binary time

A binary time is a time divided into two equal parts - so, in two halves time. A binary time will be represented by a single value - that is to say, not pointed - because, for example, a round consists of two white, one white, two black, etc.. The natural division of a binary time produced the following values: half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, etc...


In western music, solfeggio (or music theory) is the study of elements to read, write, play or sing a score. The ultimate goal of reading music is to hear a musical work, its orchestration and its interpretation, no other medium that its interior hearing.

Time ternary

A ternary music (Jazz, Swing, New Orleans Boogie triple) is composed of ternary time. A triple is a long time divided into three equal parts. In a ternary music, we usually play two notes by time, the first note is two-thirds of time and the second note takes third time. This imbalance of time between the notes of the same time gives a peculiar sensation, the sensation of bouncing.

In almost every boogie time is divided into two grades in the report 2/3-1/3 as mentioned above which gives a feeling of bouncing tonic.

In swing is almost a time of 2 is broken down in the 2/3-1/3 ratio which gives a feeling of bouncing nonchalant.