A time signature is usually located at the beginning of a piece of music. The top usually states how many beats are in a measure and the bottom states what kind of note gets one count. Types of notes and rests Notes Let's say for now that everything is in common time. In common time ( which you'll learn about in a few seconds) a whole note gets four counts, a half note gets two counts, a quarter note gets 1 count, an eighth note gets half a count, and a sixteenth note gets half of a half of a count. Makes sense doesn't it? All other time signatures relate to this pattern. Rests Rests can serve in place of a note on a staff so that time can be kept when not playing a note.
Different Time Signatures
4 This is often called common time because it is the most often used time signature. Here there would be 4 beats in a measure and the quarter note would get one count.
4 Here there would be 3 beats in a measure and the quarter note again get one count.
4 Here there would be 2 beats in a measure and the quarter note would get one count and so on.
2 This is cut time because it is half of common time. Everything works in proportion to common time but it is little different. Here there are two beats in a measure and the half note gets one count. So the quarter note would get half a count and so on.
8 Here there are 6 beats in a measure and the eighth notes gets one count. So the quarter note gets two counts and so on.
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