The numerical fraction placed on the staff or Bar, immediately after clef or double bar in bar notation and at the beginning of a piece of music, which determines the duration of each numerical beat are called Time signatures. The upper digit of the fraction denotes the number of beats in a bar and the lower digit indicates the nature or type of the notes (crotchet, Quaver, etc) that receives one beat. Time signature is also called meter. There are various Time signatures such as – 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 6/8 etc
The upper number is the count of beats in the meter. The lower number is the symbol length used to represent each beat. Together they tell us the total length of all symbols in a bar.
The 4/4 time signature indicates a quadruple (four beat) meter, where each beat is a quarter note long. The total length of each bar will therefore be four quarter note, or 4/4 of a whole note. This is the most widely used time signature and you will often see it notated simply as a “C” common time.
The 3/4 time signature indicates a triple (three beat) meter, where each beat is a quarter note long. The total length of each bar will therefore be three quarter note, or 3/4 of a whole note.
Division of notes according to their relative time values
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