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Thread: Time Signatures

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Sep 2008
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    Time Signatures

    I'm just starting an AS level music course and am finding time signatures really difficult!
    I understand all the top number showing how many beats are in the bar and the bottom number showing what type of beat it is.
    What confuses me is attempting to write out the correct number of beats in the bar for the time signature.
    I can see why 4/4 would have 4 crotchets/2 minims/so on in the bar and why 2/4 would have 2 crotchets but don't see how something like 6/8 or 3/2 works.
    I can't find any examples of music written in thse time signatures in the books I have either which suprises me!
    For 6/8 I've put that the bar could be made up of 4 quavers and a crotchet but I don't really understand why or even know if thats right! Can anyone help me?

    I can't see why I'm finding it so difficult and I hope what I've said makes sense!

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferGDBC
    I'm just starting an AS level music course and am finding time signatures really difficult!
    I understand all the top number showing how many beats are in the bar and the bottom number showing what type of beat it is.
    What confuses me is attempting to write out the correct number of beats in the bar for the time signature.
    I can see why 4/4 would have 4 crotchets/2 minims/so on in the bar and why 2/4 would have 2 crotchets but don't see how something like 6/8 or 3/2 works.
    I can't find any examples of music written in thse time signatures in the books I have either which suprises me!
    For 6/8 I've put that the bar could be made up of 4 quavers and a crotchet but I don't really understand why or even know if thats right! Can anyone help me?

    I can't see why I'm finding it so difficult and I hope what I've said makes sense!
    6/8 is 6 quavers in 2 groups of 3. There are 2 beats in the bar, marked as dotted crotchets.
    in 3/2 the beats are marked as minims (3 per bar).

    Here's a chart which might help:
    Code:
    4/4
        BEATS: |1   .   2   .   3   .   4   .   |
    1/4 notes:  X       X       X       X         (crotchets)
    1/8 notes:  x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x     (quavers)
                |___|   |___|   |___|   |___|
    
    3/4
        BEATS: |1   .   2   .   3   .  |
    1/4 notes:  X       X       X        (crotchets)
    1/8 notes:  x   x   x   x   x   x    (quavers)
                |___|   |___|   |___|  
    
    6/8
          BEATS: |1   .   .   2   .   .  |
    dotted 1/4s:  X           X            (dotted crotchets)
      1/8 notes:  x   x   x   x   x   x    (quavers)
                  |___|___|   |___|___|  
    
    3/2
        BEATS: |1   .   2   .   3   .  |
    1/2 notes:  X       X       X        (minims)
    1/4 notes:  x   x   x   x   x   x    (crotchets)
    1/8 notes:  x x x x x x x x x x x x  (quavers)
                |_|_|_| |_|_|_| |_|_|_|
    (Remember "1/4 notes" and "8th notes" are US terms )
    Last edited by JonR; 09-09-2008 at 04:01 PM.

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