2, 3 or 4 beats in the bar

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Definition

A bar containing either 2, 3 or 4 beats.

When we listen to music, the beat or pulse will normally form groups of two, three or four.

In simple time we use the time signatures 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 to display whether the music has 2, 3 or 4 beats in the bar. 4/4 can also be written as C, which stands for 'common time'.

Time signatures for 2, 3 and 4 beats in the bar, in simple time


In compound time we use the time signatures 6/8, 9/8 and 12/8 to display whether the music has 2, 3 or 4 beats in the bar.

Time signatures for 2, 3 and 4 beats in the bar, in compound time


Examples


The beats in this piece are in groups of four. Try counting along.

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