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Home: Music Theory Rhythm: Time Signatures

"Time Signatures and the Note Relationship"
Note Duration and Beat

Rhythm is expressed, stated, and describe with a time signature (time) and defines the note duration and time relationship. Let's reexamine the measure we defined previously.

Time Signature 4-4 w qtrs


So here we have one of the most common time which is four-four time. We have found it easier to start with the bottom numeral to clarify what will be counted.

What the numbers mean:    4 over 4 time signature

The bottom numeral is the duration or length of the beat and is the counting note; in this case the quarter note

Therefore, each quarter note gets a count of 1 beat

The top numeral is the number of beats per measure; so we will have 4 beats per measure.

Count and clap: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. 

So put the 4/4 time another way. The counting will be done on quarter notes and there will be four counts per measure.

More below to help get this down cold.

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