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Now Let's tie our new understand of notes and the time signature together.

 

Lets take a look at this measure. It is the beginning measure for a work. The time signature is 4/4.

 

Remember that the top number (4) tells us how many beats there are in this measure and the bottom number (4) tells us what note gets one beat. So, 4 beats to the measure and a quarter note gets a beat.

If you were to have quarter notes in this measure it would look like this:

Four quarter notes to the measure - four beats and each quarter note gets a beat. You might want to tap this out with your foot. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 and as you tap you should look on to the next note.

 

Now let's look at another signature time

Here is another signature:

The 3/4 signature

 

What does this signature show us? The bottom number tells us that a quarter note gets one beat and the top number shows us that there are three beats in the measure. If you were to put quarter notes in this measure there would be three of them. This is a common signature for waltzes.

Three beats in the measure and quarter notes make up each beat.

 

Is this starting to come clear for you? Lets review

three quarter notes

The top Number (3) tells us how many beats in the measure.

The bottom number (4) tells us which note gets a beat.

 

So if the bottom number were:

1 - whole note the whole note would get a beat

2-half note a half note would get a beat

4 - quarter notea quarter note is a beat

8eighth note an eighth note is a beat

Take a look at this signature and try to understand what it means

3/8 measure

Can you figure this out?

 

The top number means how many beats in the measure? Three!

And the bottom number means what note gets a beat? An eighth note! An eighth note is the note with a staff and a single flag on it.

Ok lets continue on with the tutorial We are going to look at dotted notes and rests.