I might be totally wrong, but it just came to my mind. Aren't they same, in practice?

I mean, therotically I know that in the 2/2 it would mean that the time signature would be filled with 2 half-notes. And that the 4/4 would be complete with 4 quarter notes.

So isn't it the same? Or clear me up please :O

Peace.
The drum beat is different I think,
2/2 is also known as cut time or cut-common time but It's not the same
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4/4 has four beats, 2/2 has two.
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i think it would be the same besides the note that would get the beat, in 4/4 theres 4 counts and a quarter note gets the beat.. i have no clue actually
4/4 is common time, 4 beats per measure and the quarter note gets the beat; 2/2 is cut time, 2 beats per measure, and the half note gets the beat. That's the technical difference.

The real difference is the "feel" of the meter.

You can have a 4/4 meter felt in 2, but you can also have a 2/2 meter felt in 4...that kind of confused what I said up there ^^, but if you have a song in 2/2, you have to listen to it. If there are a lot of quarter notes, you're gonna lean towards feeling it in 4 (and in your own head, you can change the time signature to 4/4 to make it easier).

If you have a song in 4/4 with a lot of half notes or whole notes, you're gonna lean towards feeling it in 2. The same goes for 8th notes and such, as you're going to want to subdivide the beat.

Tell me if that made any sense to you at all, I'm giving you a choir boy's take on it
I'm a drummer...
Noones ever referred to the beat that I think your referring to as 2/2... My dad showed it to me and called it "march" lmao...
Then the difference is that in 2/2, you count 1,2,3,4. In 4/4 you count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
In 2/2 you hit the bass drum on 1 and 3 and the snare on 2 and 4, and you always hit the hi-hat.
Same with 4/4... but you have that extra beat with the hi-hat in it by itself...
Sorry that I'm bad at explaining.
~Carl
Theoretically, yes.....and no.

2/2 4/4 and 8/8 can, theoretically be used for the same thing, but they are all different feels.

4/4 suggests a stronger feel on the beats of the bar ( 1 2 3 4) than 8/8 would, and simelarly, if you were to try reading a piece that was all on the off beats, it wouldn't make sense to write it in 2/2.

In other words, if the piece you are playing feels like its two beats per bar, 2/2 would make sense, if not, probably 4/4. 8/8 or 16/16 would suggest a heavily synchopated beat or something with a **** load of rests.

Hope that makes some kind of sense.
Last edited by OkTomorrow at Aug 9, 2008,
There are two reasons both 4/4 and 2/2 exist, one is a trait common to all time signatures and the other is exclusive to the 4/4 to 2/2 relationship.

The thing about time signatures that you know but are not aware of (believe me -- you know; record yourself playing music in any metre you're familliar with and you'll see what I mean) is that all time signatures have an intristic feel to them that are fundamental to exploiting strong and weak rhythms, depending on what the composer desires. In 4/4 (and in most time signatures) the most powerful beat is often the 1. The second most powerful beat is often the 3, meaning it is counted ONE two THREE four, with the one the decidedly most powerful beat. There are many variations on this for different genres of music; many forms of music flip this and place equal emphasis on two and four which can be attributed to the common counting practice of only counting beats two and four. Now, where does 2/2 come into this? Well, 2/2 has different beat stresses than 4/4; 2/2 is almost always simply ONE TWO with equal and powerful stress on both beats, undermining the offbeats and areas between beats much more than 4/4, which also diffrentiates 2/2 from 2/4.

But that is not the only reason 2/2 exists. Whereas beat stresses alone can explain differences in the numerator over equal divisions (IE the difference between 2/4 and 4/4)
they do not explain why the denomenator is different. By far the most common use for 2/2 is as a mediator for double time; a very common effect in music is to change the time signature from 4/4 to 2/2 and mark the music with an indication that quarter notes equal quarter notes, effectively meaning that the tempo has been doubled, more commonly known as double time. This is simply an easier way to notate this fact and the combined effect is that the stresses are adjusted accordingly; the offbeats are less stressed than they would be in a song that had stayed in 4/4 and simply doubled the tempo as now the onbeats -- all two of them -- are more accented than they would have been in 4/4.
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There are two reasons both 4/4 and 2/2 exist, one is a trait common to all time signatures and the other is exclusive to the 4/4 to 2/2 relationship.

The thing about time signatures that you know but are not aware of (believe me -- you know; record yourself playing music in any metre you're familliar with and you'll see what I mean) is that all time signatures have an intristic feel to them that are fundamental to exploiting strong and weak rhythms, depending on what the composer desires. In 4/4 (and in most time signatures) the most powerful beat is often the 1. The second most powerful beat is often the 3, meaning it is counted ONE two THREE four, with the one the decidedly most powerful beat. There are many variations on this for different genres of music; many forms of music flip this and place equal emphasis on two and four which can be attributed to the common counting practice of only counting beats two and four. Now, where does 2/2 come into this? Well, 2/2 has different beat stresses than 4/4; 2/2 is almost always simply ONE TWO with equal and powerful stress on both beats, undermining the offbeats and areas between beats much more than 4/4, which also diffrentiates 2/2 from 2/4.

But that is not the only reason 2/2 exists. Whereas beat stresses alone can explain differences in the numerator over equal divisions (IE the difference between 2/4 and 4/4)
they do not explain why the denomenator is different. By far the most common use for 2/2 is as a mediator for double time; a very common effect in music is to change the time signature from 4/4 to 2/2 and mark the music with an indication that quarter notes equal quarter notes, effectively meaning that the tempo has been doubled, more commonly known as double time. This is simply an easier way to notate this fact and the combined effect is that the stresses are adjusted accordingly; the offbeats are less stressed than they would be in a song that had stayed in 4/4 and simply doubled the tempo as now the onbeats -- all two of them -- are more accented than they would have been in 4/4.

Winner. That's what I was trying to say with the "feel" of the meter, but you just kicked my ass totally at explaining it

TS - go find some music by Bach and look at the meter and listen to it. You can hear the stresses and such that make the music what it is.
Last edited by Idiosyncracy at Aug 9, 2008,
i suppose that if you set a metronome to play in these two and just let them play for eternity and started them at the exact same time it could sound the same, possibly
but i think that Me2NiK explained it pretty well
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