A Time Signature places two numbers vertically but it is not a fraction.
The upper top number indicates the number of beats within each measure after it. The bottom number is the unit of time (note-value) that recieves one beat.
Some notations substitute this number for a note symbol.
The number on top indicates if the time is perfect (divisible by two or three) or imperfect (time is divided into conbinations of two and three). There is also a posibility of perfect compound time if it can be divided into three and two leaving a perfect time in both cases. Sometimes it leads to Alternating Meters.
Rhythm consists of different durations and accents, affecting the sounds and silences of Music.
A repeating pattern of regular accents creates a pattern that leads to an specific Measure.
The Time signature, as we have seen, tell us the movement of musical rhythm and beats in a Music piece with two numbers at the beginning of the score, one above the other. Measures can be perfect, imperfect and composite. Within the Perfect Time Signatures, we can find binary, ternary and quaternary measures as long as the number of musical figures (upper number) is multiple of two, three or four.
In a Time Signature we find the number that will be equivalent to the number of the sum of all the notes in a measure as well as the way we will conduct the beat.
In a Score we divide measures by the use of barlines. Thus the name of bars as synonimous of measures.
The subdivision of a bar or measure corresponds to the ability to handle shorter note-values than the beat.
If the number of note-values we use in this subdivision is a multiple of two, the measure has a binary subdivision and if that number is multiple of three, the measure would be ternary.
An Imperfect Meter alternates beats of this two subdivisions in the same measure.
A Compound Meter comes from the sum of two regular measures, with the same number of equivalent but different subdivision note-values.
These complex measures let the musicians play with the rhythm and some Perfect Meter Time Signatures have this very same property as in the case of twelve-eight.
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