Music and Time Signatures Are Simple Math

If you are confused about time signatures of music work or are calculated, this time signatures page will help break music for you hopefully in a better way.

Introduction to Time Units

The first part that we will discuss on this particular subject of music notation are what are called time units. These are the numbers that show the nature of beats in timed measures of music.

People often get confused by the subject of time units. People sometimes see these numbers at the beginning of a line of music as just numbers and that is why they forget the significance of what the numbers mean. In music notation, the units are just the part of the time signature that gets the beat. This is the bottom number.

The top number of the is always telling you how many beats are in one measure of music. The bottom number always tells you what kind of note gets the beat in that measure.
For example, if the bottom number is 4, it means the quarter note gets the beat. 

If the bottom number is 8, that means the eighth note gets the beat.

If the bottom number is 16, it means the sixteenth note gets the beat.

What is a beat?

A beat is the method by which you count out music (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4…). It is the top number of this sign. It is NOT the same as the time unit. The unit is what value note is being given the beat.  So, no matter what number is on the bottom of the time signature, you will always count using the top number (the number of beats in a measure). 

For example, if you are in 9/16, you would count the measure out: 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9.

If it is in 6/8, you will count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6--knowing that the eighth note is the unit getting the beat.

If you would like a little more information on how to count measures of music and sub-divisions these figures, check back frequently as I will be updating this page often. There are also many more topics of this nature that I will be discussing in the E-book that I am writing for this page. So, stay tuned for more updates.

Also, I'm giving you, my visitors a preview of my book on this topic called Music Theory and Counting: Simple Math. Even though, this is a relatively short preview, it is the first of many previews of this book that I will be giving you on this page. I will give you a preview about every two chapters, disclosing new information on the subjects presented on this page.

Click here if you'd like more information on time units, subdivisions,  time signatures and how they relate to music notation.

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