The **compound meter**'s time unit may be divided
by
three.

Some important points that we must consider in relation to these measures are:

- We recognize the compound measures because the numerator (the top number in the time signature) is 6, 9 or 12.
- We obtain the note that will occupy a beat by dividing the numerator by 3. For instance a 6/8 measure has 2 beats.
- We must add a dot to the notes that occupy a beat.
- The denominator (the bottom number) indicates the note that occupies a third of the time unit. For example in a 6/8 measure the eighth note occupies a third of a beat since a beat is occupied by 3 eighth notes or 1 dotted quarter note.

The next table show the above points:

Meter | Beats | Note in one beat |
Note in one measure |
---|---|---|---|

6 8 |
2 | ||

9 8 |
3 | ||

12 8 |
4 | ||

6 4 |
2 | ||

9 4 |
3 | ||

12 4 |
4 |

See Reading Music in the Tutorials section.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

José Rodríguez Alvira.