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Lesson 4.1 - Time Signatures - REVIEW


By Grade 4 Music Theory, you need to know all simple and compound time signatures. 

To summarize:

For Simple Time Signatures

Top number tells you how many beats in a bar 
Bottom number tells you the type of beat
/2 minim beat
/4 crotchet beat
/8 quaver beat
/16 semiquaver beat
Therefore some of the new time signatures you might come across at this level might be  
2/8 - 2 quaver beats in a bar
4/2 - 4 minim beats in a bar

For Compound Time Signatures 

Remember that the beats are grouped into into threes
So for example,
6/4 time, although it contains 6 crotchets in every bar is actually 2 DOTTED MINIM BEATS IN A BAR and the way the notes are grouped will reflect this.
Take a look at this example 
The difference between 6/4 time and 3/2 time
You will notice that both lines have exactly the same lengths of notes, but in 6/4 time the beats are dotted minims. In 3/2 time, the beats are just minims. The notes need to be grouped together to reflect this. For example the minim in the first bar needs to be split into two tied crotchets, in 3/2 time, because the two halves belong to different beats. Similarly, the semibreve at the end must be split into a crotchet tied to a dotted minim in 6/4 time because these two notes belong to two separate beats.


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