In one of my assignments for my theory class I have to name the correct time signature after reading a measure. My problem is that I don't know when to write what....one example is I have a 16th note,16th rest,16th note,16th rest,16th note,16th rest. Now would this be a 6/16 right away or a 3/8? If you know a simple way in figuring this out that would be awesome..Thanks
umm....first, i would just add up all the values, and use the sum as my answer

easy right?
I'm pretty sure both are right, i dont know if the "correct" way is to write it simplified form like 3/8, or write it as how its "felt"......
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It's 3/8.
Ok I understand what you are saying but wouldn't simple and compound meters come into play?
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Ok I understand what you are saying but wouldn't simple and compound meters come into play?
Do you feel the beat divide naturally into two or three parts?

If you feel the beat dividing naturally into three parts, it's compound meter and you'd notate it 6/16, an unusual but legitimate signature.

If you feel the beat dividing naturally into two parts, it's simple meter and you'd notate it 3/8.
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For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
The point is, the music is just written, not played to him so it all comes down to what is on the page. Problem is, it could be either 3/8 or 6/16 - even 12/32 is plausible. A single bar of music with no time signature like that is ambiguous and the time signature's sole purpose is to designate the feel of the beat. The safe option, or "most correct" I suppose would be 3/8, since the three 16th notes give a staccatto rhythm of 3 beats in this particular case.
Quote by quinny1089
shouldnt they be the other way round...

6/16 would be 123 123 in semi-quavers, therefore 2 beats.

3/8 would just be 1 2 3 in quavers, which is 3 beats...

No gpb0216 is correct.

6/16 is 123 123 in semiquavers.... 123 is the subdivision of the beat. It divides into three.

3/8 is 1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and showing a subdivision of 2 beats.

(Sorry for the poor explanation)
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