Music Theory: Rhythm – Time Signatures


Chord Progression

After a simple post last week on meter, this week I’ll be covering two related topics: division of the beat and time signatures.  Together with meter, the simple or compound division of the beat as indicated by time signatures is the foundation and framework of rhythm.  I’ll cover these topics in three sections: division of the beat, simple time signatures, and compound time signatures.

Division of the Beat

Last week I talked about how meter is groupings of beats into measures.  However, most music also divides the beats into sub-beats of two or three.  This is called division of the beat and dividing the division is called subdivision of the beat.

If the beat is divided into two, it is called simple.  If it is divided into three, it is called compound.  Let’s look at an example:

divisongraphic

In the above picture, the top half shows the simple division of eighth, quarter, half…

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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