#1
from what i understand one value represents the beats per measure and the other value tells you the note value that makes up a beat. i dont get the purpose of the latter value since you can play any value note over any number of beats you want whether youre playing one note every beat or 17.8398734 notes every 5.27834 beats.

so another question; is the time signature just a descriptive tool for physically writing a song, cause im thinking any song can be given any time signature though the values would be all weird?

what am i not getting?
I once hit a man in Dearborn. Michigan. A hit and run. I hit him and just kept on goin. I don't know if he's alive or dead. But I'm sorry. Not a day goes by i don't see his face.
#2
1. the second number tell you which notes would be counted as a beat like in 3/4 there are 3 beats ans the quarter note gets the beat you can use any note value in there(cept a whole note) but the second number just tell you whihc one to use to count the beats

and it would be darn difficult to count 18.whaetever notes in 5.3 beats

2.and kinda...but different time signature have different feels to them where the accents are and the number of beats before the enxt strong accent

i hope i helped and made sense
#3
The second number has to be an existing note value i.e. whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc. It's true that you -could- write a song in multiple time signatures. 3/4 and 6/8 would be technically equivalent, but the feel will usually be different between the two.

Time signatures are simply a tool to help understand a given piece of music.
#4
i tihnk i get it. its related to accents
I once hit a man in Dearborn. Michigan. A hit and run. I hit him and just kept on goin. I don't know if he's alive or dead. But I'm sorry. Not a day goes by i don't see his face.
#5
Quote by rabbittroopsux
i tihnk i get it. its related to accents

Yes. In 3/4, you accent beat one. In 6/8, the accents fall on beats 1 and 4.
#6
The time signature tells the musician how to count the notes in the piece.
The bottom number just tells you the value of one beat in the music - you can play whatever you want in terms of note lengths like you said but this length is relative to the bottom number of the sig.

For example, in 4/4 a whole beat is one crotchet, so three quarters of a beat is a dotted quaver.
In 4/8, one beat is now a quaver, so three quarters of a beat is now a dotted semi.

It's all relative to the bottom number.
It's a little bit like fractions.
#7
Quote by Matt.Guitar

It's all relative to the bottom number.
It's a little bit like fractions.

Sorry, but do not think about this like fractions or even compare it to fractions, because it is misleading.

Top number: the number of beats in the measure
Bottom number: the basis for those beats, ie quarter note, eighth notes, half notes, etc

For example: 5/4 would mean 5 beats of quarter notes in a measure.

2/2 means 2 beats of half notes in a measure. This is not the same thing as 4/4, because the rhythmic emphasis is on the half notes.


Multiples of 3s (6, 9, 12) usually indicate a compound meter. Compound meters are a little more complex:
9/8 may mean there are 9 counts of 8ths notes in a measure, but there are actually 3 primary beats (9 ÷ 3 = 3), each beat being a dotted quarter note (♩.) The 8ths notes are therefore subdivisions instead of the primary beats.

The difference between 9/8 and 3/4 for example, is if you were counting the basic subdivision of 9/8, it feels like a triplet between each beat:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

If you count the subdivision for 3/4 (the 8ths notes), it would be duple:
1 and 2 and 3 and

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#8
Quote by Xiaoxi
For example: 5/4 would mean 5 beats of quarter notes in a measure.


fixed, you typo'd 5/4 as 7/4. other than that, spot on
modes are a social construct
#10
Quote by Hail
fixed, you typo'd 5/4 as 7/4. other than that, spot on

Oh yea good call. I was originally using 7/4 as the example.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#11
Quote by Matt.Guitar
It's not that misleading, is it?

Good post BTW

It is that misleading because all too often people go

4/4 = 2/2 because they can be divided by 2, and other fails.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#13
Hey, dont mean to hijack your thread but since im trying to learn something about time signatures i will post my question here instead of making a new post.

What would you call the pre-chorus in the song "Jump" by Van Halen?
The part starting at 0:58 ish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csRwOO0wpX8
I was thinking it could be 3/8? Does it even exist?

Thanks.
#15
Quote by Matt.Guitar
^^
It's just 4/4.
The syncopation makes it seem like it might have changed time sig but it hasn't.
I suppose you could count it as 4 bars of 3/8 and one bar of 4/8 but you really needn't. It's just two bars of 4/4

Yes 3/8 does exist.

If find it much easier to count 3/8s, why do you say there is no change? It doesnt make sense to me to count 4/4.
#19
Quote by tappooh
Hey, dont mean to hijack your thread but since im trying to learn something about time signatures i will post my question here instead of making a new post.

What would you call the pre-chorus in the song "Jump" by Van Halen?
The part starting at 0:58 ish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csRwOO0wpX8
I was thinking it could be 3/8? Does it even exist?

Thanks.

The bass drum is accenting every dotted crotchet. Starting on beat 1.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 +......

That's what is throwing you off. S'all 4/4 though.