More Time Signatures
After looking at the table of time signatures, you may have wondered why 3/4 time is different from 6/8. It is true that one is simply the reduced version of the other, but in music they are not quite equal. 6/8 is a Compound Time Signature. The main difference between straight time and compound time is where you put the emphasis, or Accent. Please click here for some examples.
Remember the last time you heard a waltz? All waltzes are written in 3/4 time, and all of them have the same feeling: DIP, two, three, TURN, two three, etc... You can always feel all three distinct beats with an emphasis on the first one. 6/8 time, on the other hand, is used more in small classical pieces (like sonatinas) and modern rock 'n' roll. It has more of a rolling and less of a pounding dance feel to it.
This all may seem a little abstract at first, but experience will teach you the difference.
Here is another example of a compound time. Can you tell what it means?
The time signature "C" indicates Common Time, which is the same as 4/4. The other signature is Cut Time. This is the same as 2/2 (there are two beats per measure and a half note gets one beat). These are both very common written either as numbers or as symbols. Cut time is the compound equivalent of common time.