So I have this question about sheet music, but more just for me counting bars in my head and whatnot.

You know the numbers at the beginning of sheet music, let's say it's 4 over 4, would I be right in thinking that the first 4 is the number of beats per bar, and the second 4 is the number of bars?

If this is the case, for music that changes time signiture do they just write on a new set of numbers?

...I really don't get much theory.
4/4 would be the time thingy wouldnt it?

like.. full time?
idk i never had any lessons

time.. something
time signature
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4/4 would mean that there are 4 beats per measure, and the quarter note is one beat.
3/4 would be 3 beats per measure, with the quarter note being one beat.
7/8 is 7 beats per measure with an eighth note being a beat

etc.
Quote by jimmyhotpants
time signature

time sig is like bpm isnt it?

or is that just bpm:P
doesn't it mean 4 beats/bar arranged into groups of 4 bars?

that's what i always thought.

EDIT: actually i think wyldething is right in his explanation.
the number on top is how many beats are in a measure, and the number on the bottom is what kind of note gets one beat:

4/4 would mean four beats, and each beat is a quarter note (4=quarter).

you could have 6/8, in which case it would be 6 beats with each beat being an eighth note in length (8=eighth).

time sig is like bpm isnt it?

or is that just bpm:P

BPM is the tempo of the piece. the time signature helps organize the piece into notes and measures.
This is my signature. There are many like it but this one is MINE.
Last edited by sixstringsteve at Jul 6, 2008,
Quote by FireTag
So I have this question about sheet music, but more just for me counting bars in my head and whatnot.

You know the numbers at the beginning of sheet music, let's say it's 4 over 4, would I be right in thinking that the first 4 is the number of beats per bar, and the second 4 is the number of bars?

If this is the case, for music that changes time signiture do they just write on a new set of numbers?

...I really don't get much theory.

1 - The time signature is made up of two parts, broadly speaking the top number defines the number of beats per bar and the bottom number defines the type of beat. So the buttom number being 4 indicates quarter notes, 2 being half notes and 1 being whole notes. There are also some details regarding the number on top and the feel of the music but that can wait for later.

2 - Yes, if the time signature changes they just write the new time signature at the beginning of the bar in which it changes.

Edit: dammit, totally late...
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its the time signature. 4 beats per measure.
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4/4 means there are 4 quarter notes per measure the first four is the number of beats per measure, and the second four tells you what kind of beat to count. so 3/4 would have 3 quarter notes per measure, 7/8 would have seven eighth notes per measure, etc.

woops, i was a little late on this.
Quote by FireTag
So to confirm: the top number is the number of beats, the bottom number is essentially tempo for those beats?

Not really; the time signature actually have almost nothing to do with the speed of the piece. The time signature defines the feel of the music more than anything else, the speed is defined by the tempo which is almost completely independent of the time signature.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”

Album.
Legion.