How can I tell 4/4 and 8/8 apart? If I'm listening to a song how would I know the difference?
They will sound the same as they are the same thing, 4/4=8/8
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It's probably 4/4
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4/4 will have accentuation after every 4.
8/8 will have accentuation on after every 8, possible slight accentuation on the 5.

So stupid to say you cant tell the difference.
I can tell the difference between 3/4 and 6/8. They are certainly NOT the same thing.
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Last edited by W4T3V3R at Sep 6, 2011,
Yeah, a song may be "written" in 8/8 if for some reason it makes notating it simpler
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Quote by ShredWannabe
So if they equal each other what's the point in composing a song 8/8 rather than 4/4? I know the note subdivision is different, but that doesn't effect the actual sound right?

Blatantly didnt read my post. They arent the same thing and you can tell the difference between them by listening.
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Quote by W4T3V3R
Blatantly didnt read my post. They arent the same thing and you can tell the difference between them by listening.

I've just read it, I get it now. The accenting would be different, don't know why I didn't think of that.
Most of the time....

4/4 = 1 2 3 4

8/8 = 1 2 3 1 2 1 2 3 OR 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2

It's all in the note beamings. Makes all the difference in the world.
People that said it doesn't matter are ignorant, do not listen to them. 4/4 and 8/8 are different things. Look at Jet Penguin and w4t3v3r.
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Quote by Jet Penguin
Most of the time....

4/4 = 1 2 3 4

8/8 = 1 2 3 1 2 1 2 3 OR 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2

It's all in the note beamings. Makes all the difference in the world.

+1

4/4 is a regular time signature. Most of the time 8/8 is used as an additive time signature. There are other uses but I can't think what they are right now
I've seen 16/16, too, where you have irregular sub groupings of 16th notes.

Quote by W4T3V3R

8/8 will have accentuation on after every 8, possible slight accentuation on the 5.

...That would be 4/4, or even 2/2 if the accentuation was on the 5th quaver. 8/8 tends to be used as an irregular time signature, because if it's regular, then it wouldn't be discernible from 4/4.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 6, 2011,
So 4/4 is different from 8/8 because of accentuation pattern.

This is a matter of convention: certain patterns are used in 8/8 scores, others in 4/4. It's not an inherent difference in the time signatures. If you didn't know about the convention they would be the same.

This makes me think there should be a standard way of representing accentuation patterns (outside of score notation) separately from time signature.
theyre different, its where the accentuation lies thats different
Everything to be added has been added really.

But where 4/4 and 8/8 can sound similar, in some applications they sound completely different.
If I remember right "Smash" by Avishai Cohen is in 8/8 and that has a completely different feel to 4/4.
Quote by Jehannum
So 4/4 is different from 8/8 because of accentuation pattern.

This is a matter of convention: certain patterns are used in 8/8 scores, others in 4/4. It's not an inherent difference in the time signatures. If you didn't know about the convention they would be the same.

This makes me think there should be a standard way of representing accentuation patterns (outside of score notation) separately from time signature.

3+3+2/8

I believe that is an accepted way to indicate accents. I could be wrong though.
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
3+3+2/8

I believe that is an accepted way to indicate accents. I could be wrong though.

I believe you're right.
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Quote by Jehannum
So 4/4 is different from 8/8 because of accentuation pattern.

This is a matter of convention: certain patterns are used in 8/8 scores, others in 4/4. It's not an inherent difference in the time signatures. If you didn't know about the convention they would be the same.

This makes me think there should be a standard way of representing accentuation patterns (outside of score notation) separately from time signature.

It's not just a convention: 3+3+2, or any similar permutation is a time signature of an uneven three beats in a bar, not just four straight crotchets, and 8/8 is just a convenient way of notating such irregular time signatures. The fact that they both have 8 quavers in a bar is irrelevant, it is how these are grouped that determines the pulse (which is really what time signature is meant to convey).

Using 4/4 is only really appropriate when there is a discernible 4 crotchet beat, or when it would be more unwieldy to switch to 8/8. In the same way that 6/8 and 3/4 are different time signatures because of different beat structures, 8/8 and 4/4 aren't interchangeable.

I don't see what you're trying to say, there's already a fairly exhaustive system of denoting accentuation patterns, from additive time signatures that Jesse Clarkson refers to, to beaming, to writing in any of the multitude of different accent signs that exist, or "Hats and Triangles" which are sometimes used in contemporary classical scores. Hats () represent a group of 2, and triangles () a group of 3. They appear in bold above the stave, over the first note of the group. Not particularly elegant, but it's useful when sight-reading.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 6, 2011,
Quote by Jet Penguin
Most of the time....

4/4 = 1 2 3 4

8/8 = 1 2 3 1 2 1 2 3 OR 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2

It's all in the note beamings. Makes all the difference in the world.

This. While the latter should be written as 8/8, it is often just notated as 4/4 (though you can still hear the different accents.) All other time signatures tend to follow this pattern--think 3/4 and 6/8--but 4/4 is often written in place of a "should-be 8/8."
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TS:

1) ignore people who say they're even remotely the same. all they know about is fractions -- they don't know a damn thing about time signatures.

2) listen to people who are talking about the difference in accentuation. 4/4 consists of four straight beats, while 8/8 can be any one of three permutations: 3+3+2/8, 3+2+3/8, or 2+3+3/8. 3+3+2 is the most common of the three.
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Time signatures are NOT fractions.

i.e. 4/4 is not the same as 8/8...although it would sound the same as 4/8 (just be written differently).

Remember, the top number is showing you how many beats in a bar and so implys the accent but the bottom number is just telling you how (with which note) it is notated.
Quote by Jehannum
So 4/4 is different from 8/8 because of accentuation pattern.

This is a matter of convention: certain patterns are used in 8/8 scores, others in 4/4. It's not an inherent difference in the time signatures. If you didn't know about the convention they would be the same.

Much of gershwin is in 8/8 but he writes it in 4/4, simply because the 8/8 concept wasn't that well-used in his day. But he meant 8/8.

This makes me think there should be a standard way of representing accentuation patterns (outside of score notation) separately from time signature.

Starting to sound like Schillinger
Quote by chainsawguitar
Time signatures are NOT fractions.

i.e. 4/4 is not the same as 8/8...although it would sound the same as 4/8 (just be written differently).

Remember, the top number is showing you how many beats in a bar and so implys the accent but the bottom number is just telling you how (with which note) it is notated.

Time signatures should be fractions, though, even though they aren't used that way. They just shouldn't be reduce-able fractions.
Quote by nmitchell076
Time signatures should be fractions...

why? are you going to try to convince me that 3/4 should be the same as 6/8?
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Quote by AeolianWolf
why? are you going to try to convince me that 3/4 should be the same as 6/8?

Not at all, our current way of notating Time Signatures is quite counter-intuitive, in my opinion. But that is all time signatures really are, a representation of a fraction: with the numerator being the individual durations of the bar and the denominator representing the total bar.
Sure is not the same. Otherwise there would be no different.Rhythm and accent.
Quote by nmitchell076
Not at all, our current way of notating Time Signatures is quite counter-intuitive, in my opinion.

What's this? A possibility for intelligent discussion!?

Why do you think that?
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In my noob opinion, as yet unaccustomed to sheet music, I'd say that what we have now is fine... cuz it works fine. Sure, you could individually list the accent of each note, but that's a bit much. Sure, 4/4 isn't always the same apparently, but really. If it ain't fix don't broke it.

It's just like everything else in music, you have to get used to using it.
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I think time signatures don't matter. They are completely relative, and the only reason to use them is for ease of notation. Some things are simply easier to write in a certain time signature than another.

Think about it; you can write any melody in pretty much any time signature and make it the same.

IE - triplets in 4/4. 1 la le 2 la le 3 la le 4 la le is the same as 2 bars of 123456 in 6/8. Instead of 8/8 you could write it as a bar of 3/8 and a bar of 5/8 or any number of combos after that, all keeping the same accents.

Same thing with 3/4. I hate to disagree with whoever, but it is 100% possible to play something that is '6/8' while counting threes in your head, and vice-versa. Hell, you can count in 2's in 6/8 too (on the one and the four) and be fine.
Quote by soviet_ska
What's this? A possibility for intelligent discussion!?

Why do you think that?

Because the "denominator" of the current system is based upon equal devisions of a whole note (ie, 2, 4, 8, etc.). This works well for bars where the beat is defined as a member of this 2-based system. For example, 2/4 really does mean (in most cases) "Two beats per measure with one quarter note receiving the beat."

However, when we deal with non-two based rhythmic systems, it suddenly looses this ease of explanation. 6/8 does not mean "6 beats per measure with one eighth note receiving the beat," but rather "two beats per measure with one dotted quarter note receiving the beat." The only reason any of us know that the second definition is what 6/8 actually refers to is because of custom, but the time signature itself does not convey that information clearly.

I am a Teacher's Assistant for Freshman Theory this year, and we just covered simple v compound meter in class on Friday. It was incredible to me how many people just did not understand why 3/4 was different from 6/8. And it wasn't just one or two people who didn't understand, but about half of the class. It all arises because we don't have a way to indicate that it is the dotted quarter note that gets the beat, not the eighth note.
Quote by nmitchell076
Because the "denominator" of the current system is based upon equal devisions of a whole note (ie, 2, 4, 8, etc.). This works well for bars where the beat is defined as a member of this 2-based system. For example, 2/4 really does mean (in most cases) "Two beats per measure with one quarter note receiving the beat."

However, when we deal with non-two based rhythmic systems, it suddenly looses this ease of explanation. 6/8 does not mean "6 beats per measure with one eighth note receiving the beat," but rather "two beats per measure with one dotted quarter note receiving the beat." The only reason any of us know that the second definition is what 6/8 actually refers to is because of custom, but the time signature itself does not convey that information clearly.

I am a Teacher's Assistant for Freshman Theory this year, and we just covered simple v compound meter in class on Friday. It was incredible to me how many people just did not understand why 3/4 was different from 6/8. And it wasn't just one or two people who didn't understand, but about half of the class. It all arises because we don't have a way to indicate that it is the dotted quarter note that gets the beat, not the eighth note.

So what do you propose?
Quote by DiminishedFifth
So what do you propose?

I don't. Its a flawed system, to be sure. But the problem has been so built upon by our rhythmic theory for half a millennium, that to make any real changes to it would require re-doing the basis for our entire rhythmic theory, which would have its own complications and difficulties to get through. Realistically, it wouldn't ever happen, at least not as any sort of standard. But I think we have been pretty successful at patching over the counter-intuitiveness of the system. But no matter how much we tweak it and patch it over, the counter-intuitiveness lies at the root of it, so it won't ever be ideal.
Last edited by nmitchell076 at Sep 11, 2011,
Good point, Mitchell. The only thing I can say is that it's easy enough to understand and immediately break any time signature down once you understand the concepts of simple and compound time (odd time being just a combination of the two,) but it certainly is not conducive to learning these concepts for the first time.

Then you've got even more confusion with 8/8 being often written as 4/4. Personally, I dislike the advocation of "4/4 with a shuffle/swing beat." Can't we just call it what it is--12/8?
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Quote by AeolianWolf
why? are you going to try to convince me that 3/4 should be the same as 6/8?

Well. . . 6/8 could be a compound 2/4. . .
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Quote by gwitersnamps
Well. . . 6/8 could be a compound 2/4. . .

He's not saying it isn't that, he's saying that it isn't equivalent to three beats of two eighth notes, even though 6/8 as a fraction reduces to 3/4 (meaning that there are the same amount of duration values in each). That is why I said that they shouldnt be reduce-able