Music Theory: Time Signatures Part 1

Welcome to Music Theory.

Today I will be talking about one of most important theory of Music Theory. Music Theory helps us analyzing and creating music. This is going to be long bare with me, read everything. Comments below for questions and help. Tchaikovsky once said “inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy” :wink:

Basic Time Signatures

Beats: A beat is how much of a tempo (click/noise/silent) per certain time frame. The beats may be silent or full of noise. You could also have 1/2 a beat(1/8 notes) or 4 beats(Whole) for a certain sound. Depending on the music. Let say we have a music that is four seconds, we could say it has 1 beat is one sound. It will have 4 beat per Music.

Metronome: Is a clock that work in beat per minutes. What does that mean you ask?
Well a beat per minute is a Click or Noise per minute. Or 15 beats per minute is 15 “click” per minutes. They are referred too as Beat Per Measure(bpm).
Listen to 60 bpm…

Measure: A measure is a “Time Frame” controlled by the Composer, you can have anytime you desire. They work more like Beats per measure/ The long is the beats. There are Time-Pick ups, which are at start of piece are either Shorter or Longer than a normal measure.



Bars(Types): A Bar is a ending of a Measure, Stanza, phrase, or a Musical Piece

Normal Bar

A Bar is a ending of a Measure

Double Bar

This means the end of a section or phrase

End of the Line Bar

The Ending of Musically Piece

Repeat Bar

This incites that a measures, phrase or entire music needs to be repeated

Lets start Learning Time Signatures.

Time Signatures is really the time frame of Piece(like a measure) that is ether used in small amount or an whole entire piece. For example 1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has Time Signatures of 4/4 or Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven has C. There are also unusual time signature’s

Iconic Time Signatures

2/2 Time or Alla breve
4/4 Time or Common Time(C) is the most famous usage of music. Very Simple.
3/4 Time or a Waltz
2/4 Time or Cut Time
3/8 Time is used in higher tempo music
6/8 Time is always called 6/8
9/8 Time or Compound triple time used in many classical piece
12/8 Time is used in slow Blue’s
13/8 Rarely used is mostly for “scary” or “horror”

Simple v.s. Compound

Simple Time Signatures

Simple Time signature are grouped in two’s like 4/8 or 2/4 or 4/4

Complex Time Signatures

Complex Time Signatures are grouped in triples like 6/8 or 12/8

The difference are that complex signature’s have triples while simple time signatures have double’s

Complex Time Signatures
Complex Time Signature are Signatures that are Signature that are unusual don’t work in dople or triple categories, such as 12/8 or 2/2. Complex/Unusual Time include 13/8, 7/4, 11,4

In Conclusion:

Time Signatures are very complex topic, Music Theory is in generally. However there is still more to learn in my next Forum Post I will talk advanced Time Signatures. Also, feel free to comments below for any question. See yall in my next forum…

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If any one wants any musically representation here:

3/4 time

9/8 time


Also, try dm me whenever I’m active on forum

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The advanced forum help will be here by the end of this day.

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@alliedoeihoialt What help do you need?

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Everything is looking good! I am really enjoying the fact someone took time to put a resource as this on the devforums, can’t wait to see what else you cover!

Just one problem, complex time signatures should be Compound instead. You could probably call it either one but compound is more standard.


I have read it again and now I understand it :grin: Thanks for making this!

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Thanks for complement however, there are “rare” case’s where this does happen. Not in the average music though.

@ItsBloxyMan What is it that you struggling at?

Nothing really, I just don’t understand somethings in music. But although great post!

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@cristinaceline1 What do not understand about Time Signatures?