Time Signatures

Time signatures tell us two things:

  • How many beats are in a bar
  • What kind of beats

For example, 4/4 time indicates 4 crochet beats in a bar.

The top 4 is the “how many” and the bottom 4 is the “what kind

4-4 time explained

The Most Common Time Signatures

4/4 Time

Four crochets in a bar

4-4 time

3/4 Time

Three crochets in a bar

3-4 time

2/4 Time

Two crochets in a bar

2-4 time

6/8 Time

Six quavers in a bar

6-8 time

3/8 Time

Three quavers in a bar

3-8 time

3/2 Time

Three minims in a bar

3-2 time

Example: 3/4 Time

Chopin A Minor Waltz
Excerpt: Chopin Waltz in A Minor (Posthumous)