- Category: Guitarelements Lessons
- Published on Friday, 13 April 2012 12:58
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The Beat is the simplest manifestation of Rhythm. It is added Musical significance by various patterns of stress called Meters.
Additional rythmic interest result from the division of the beat into either :
Two equal part - Called Simple time
Three equal parts - Called Compound time.
Thetime signature(also known as meter signature) is a notational convention used musical notationto specify how many Beats are in each Measure and,
which Note Value constitutes one beat.
The time signature appears at the beginning of the piece, as a time symbol or stacked numerals (for example: C or 3/4 ):
( C "common time" and 3/4 "three four time", respectively).
immediately following the Key Signature (or the Clefif the piece is in C major, A minor or modal subset).
A mid-score time signature, usually immediately following a Barline,indicates a change of meter.
There are various types of time signatures, depending on whether the music follows simple rhythms or involves unusual shifting tempos, including:
|Simple||3/4 or 4/4|
|Compound||9/8 or 12/8|
|Complex||5/4 or 7/8|
|Mixed||5/8 & 3/8 or 6/8 or 3/4|
|There are A few more other Meters|
Simple time signatures consist of two numerals, one stacked above the other:
- the lower numeral indicates the note valuewhich represents One Beat.
- the upper numeral indicates how many such beats there are in a Bar.
Forexample,2/4means two Quarter note (crotchet) beats.
3/8 means three Eighth note(quaver) beats.
The most common simple time signatures are2/4 and 3/4 and 4/4
In compound meter, subdivisions of the main beat (the upper number) are split into three, not two, equal parts.
A Dotted note(half of it value longer than a regular note) becomes the beat unit.
Compound time signatures are named as if they were simple time signatures in which the one-third part of the beat unit is the beat, so the top number is commonly 6, 9 or 12 (multiples of 3).
The lower number is most commonly an 8 (an eighth-note): as in9/8 or 12/8
3/4 - A simple signature, comprising three quarter notes. It has a basic feel of (Boldas a stressed beat):
Each quarter note might comprise two eighth-notes (quavers) giving a total of six such notes, but it still retains that three-in-a-bar feel.
6/8 Theoretically, this can be thought of as the same as the six-quaver form of 3/4above with the only difference being that the eighth note is selected as the one-beat unit.
But whereas the six quavers in 3/4had been in three groups of two.
6/8is practically understood to mean that they are in two groups of three, with a two-in-a-bar feel (Boldas a stressed beat): oneand a,twoand a
Time signatures indicating two beats per bar (regarless it is simple or compound time) are called Duple time; those with three beats to the bar are Triple time.
Actual beat divisions.
Let's look at a 3/4time the actual beat division used can be the whole bar particularly in faster tempos.
Correspondingly in slow tempo the beat indicated by the time signature could in actual performance be divided into smaller units.
Meterormetreis a term that music has inherited from the Rhythmicelement of poetry, where it means the number of lines in Averse, the number of syllables in each line and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short,
accented or unaccented. Hence it may also refer to the pattern of lines and accents in the verse of a hymn or ballad, for example, and so to the organization ofMusicinto regularly recurring Measures or bars of stressed and unstressed "beats" by a Time Signatureand bar-lines.