Visual Encyclopedia

Time signature

The time signature (also known as meter signature, metre signature, or measure signature) is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are to be contained in each bar and which note value is to be given one beat. In a musical score, the time signature appears at the beginning of the piece, as a time symbol or stacked numerals, such as or (read common time and three-four time, respectively), immediately following the key signature or immediately following the clef symbol if the key signature is empty. A mid-score time signature, usually immediately following a barline, indicates a change of meter.

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An explanation of common time signatures.

Contributed by David Hamilton

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