When is it proper (if ever) to extend time signatures (8/4 vs 4/4)?



Asked by: Lori Pelz

What is the difference between 4 4 and 4/8 time signature?





They both require “a four count”, but in 4/4 the quarter notes get a whole beat or count and in 4/8 the eighth notes get a whole beat or count.

Is there a 8 4 time signature?

And 4 8 is pretty rare in classical music since 2 4 looks the same and is so much more common. But if you really look you can find some examples.

Is there such a thing as 8 8 time signature?

8/8 time contains two compound beats and one simple beat. Sometimes, people confuse 8/8 with 4/4, since both have 8 eighth notes. Sometimes, people confuse 8/8 with 4/4, since both have 8 quavers.

What is the difference between 4 and 4 times signature?

The reality is that 4/4 music will contain 4 beats in each measure, and these beats could contain half, quarter, eighth notes or rests, just so long as the note and rest values combine to the value of the top number of the time signature, which in this case, would be 4.

What does a 4/8 time signature mean?





4/8 means you have four beats counted as eighth notes, each foot tap is an eighth note (a quarter note now takes 2 beats).

What’s the difference between time signatures?

Number tells you how many beats there are in a bar. And the bottom number tells you what kind of beats they are. So for now if you're happy to accept.

What is the weirdest time signature?

No. 41a from ‘Study for Player Piano’ by Conlon Nancarrow – Time Signature: 1/√π/√⅔

What time signatures have 8 beats?

The top number tells us the number of beats in each measure. The bottom number in time signature tells you what note values those beats are. If the bottom number is a 4, it means the beats are quarter notes (four quarter notes in a measure).



How to read a time signature.

Bottom number Note value
8 Eighth beats

What song has the weirdest time signature?

Odd Time Signature Examples & The Musicians Who Love Them



  • The 7 Best Songs With Unique Time Signatures. …
  • Rush – Tom Sawyer (⅞ time) …
  • Pink Floyd – Money (7/4 time) …
  • The Beatles – Happiness Is a Warm Gun (4/4, 5/5, 9/8, 10/8, and on and on) …
  • Outkast – Hey Ya! …
  • Radiohead – 15 step (5/4 Time) …
  • MGMT – Electric Feel (6/4 time)

Why is 4/4 The most common time signature?

In fact, to answer the question why 4/4 is called “common time”, you could simply have a look at the statistics of time signatures in all music ever created. More than 90% or more of all popular songs written in the last 100 years is in 4/4. That is indeed why it is called “common time”, because it simply is so common.

What are the most common time signatures?

There are three basic types of time signatures: simple, compound, and complex. Simple: The most common types of simple time signatures are 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 2/2. Sometimes the letter “C” (meaning common time) will be used in place of 4/4. Both C and 4/4 indicate that there are four quarter note beats in each measure.

How do time signatures work?

A time signature tells you how the music is to be counted. The time signature is written at the beginning of the staff after the clef and key signature. Time signatures consist of two numbers written like a fraction. The top number of the time signature tells you how many beats to count.



How do you explain time signature to a child?

You can find them at the start of a piece of music. As you can see time signatures are made up of two numbers the top number tells us how many beats are in each bar.

How many beats does a 4 4 measure?

4 beats

In 4/4 Time Signature, the notes below are used to illustrate note value or length. In the following example, you can see that in each measure, there are 4 beats. 1 Whole Note = 4 Beats. 2 Half Notes = 4 Beats.

What is the importance of time signatures in conducting?

The time signature of a piece of music is one of the key clues that can help you understand the rhythm and structure of the piece. It tells you how the music is to be counted, what beats are emphasized, and most importantly, what the “feel” of the music is likely to sound like.



What is the purpose of a time signature in music?

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 contained in each measure (bar), and which note value is equivalent to a beat.

Where you should place the time signature?

Time signatures should be shown at the start of a piece and at the start of subsequent movements, if applicable, even if the music carries straight on. They should be placed after clefs and key signatures. If time signature changes occur during a piece or movement, it should be placed immediately after a barline.