The time signature is indicated at the beginning of the measure using two numerals:

The upper number indicates the number of beats in the measure, 3 in this case.

The lower number indicates the note that will occupy one beat. In the next table you see the relationship between notes and numbers:

Number | Note |
---|---|

1 | |

2 | |

4 | |

8 | |

16 | |

32 |

Therefore the time signature indicates that the measure has 3 times and that each beat is occupied by a quarter note. Notice that the 4 symbolizes the quarter note because it's 1/4 of the whole note.

We frequently use the symbols and to indicate the 4/4 () and 2/2 ().

See Reading Music

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José Rodríguez Alvira.