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This library of Time Signatures (along with examples of each rhythm) will take a few minutes to load into your browser. If you need a break, now would be a good time to take one. As the page loads, you will be listening to a song entitled "Take Five" by Paul Desmond. I would also like to give credit to the MIDI song arranger of this file. It's a good job, well done. Thank You. This song is in 5/4. There are 5 quarter notes per measure. If you combine 1 measure of 3/4 and 1 measure of 2/4, you will get 1 measure of 5/4. There are many pieces of music that combine different Time Signatures to create a unique arrangement of music.


Waltz time - 3/4
March time - 2/4
Fast Waltz time - 6/8
"Cut" time - 2/4
"Half" time - (football)

The best way to learn these "Musical Styles" (Time Signatures) is to listen to them. By listening to them, you will be able hear the style in your head before you play it. When you see a 3/4 on the staff, you will be able to recall a Waltz that you have listened to before. And, you will then have some idea of what the music should sound like before you begin playing it. This is important!

Band Leaders/ Music Teachers, etc. will communicate how they want you to play a piece of music by referring to it's style. Let's look at a list of common styles:

  • Waltz in 3/4
  • Jazz Waltz in 3/4
  • Dixieland in Cut Time (2/4) see C with vertical line through it below.
  • Polka in Cut Time (2/4) see C with vertical line through it below.
  • Polka in 4/4
  • Jazz Waltz in 6/8
  • March in 4/4
  • March in Cut Time (2/4) see C with vertical line through it below.
  • Jazz Waltz in 5/4
  • Latin, Bossa, in 4/4
  • Ballad in 4/4
  • Ballad in 3/4
  • Ballad in 6/8
  • Swing in 4/4
  • 12 Bar Blues in 4/4
  • And there are hundreds more in Classical, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Oriental, Folk Music, Rock, etc.


12 Note Companion

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