## Time Values, Bar Lines and Time Signatures

1 semibreve is equal to

2 minims, which are equal to

4 crotchets, which are equal to

8 quavers, which are equal to

16 semiquavers.

The above stave contains three

**Bars**separated by

**Bar Lines.**

At the end of the line there is a "

**Double Bar Line**"

At the beginning of each bar there is a

**Time Signature**.

The top number of a time signature tells you

**how many beats**are in a bar, and the bottom number tells you "

**what type of beat it is**".

For example, in the first bar there is a time signature of 2/4.

This means that there are two beats in a bar and the beats are crotchets, or put more simply there are "two crotchet beats in bar".

The second bar has a time signature of 3/4 meaning "three crotchet beats in a bar". Notice that this doesn't necessarily mean three crotchets in that bar - it could be, as above, a minim and a crotchet which adds up to the same as three crotchet beats.

In the final bar there is a letter "C" which stands for "common time". Common time is just another way of writing 4/4 (i.e. four crotchet beats in a bar).

N.B. In Grade 1 you will only see time signatures with crotchet beats. In other words the bottom number of the time signature will always be 4 (or it's marked as common time which means 4/4).

**Download a FREE worksheet on this topic from HERE**

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