Until now, we have used the quarter note (crotchet) to represent the value of a beat. Nevertheless, we can indeed use any note value to serve as the beat unit. In time signatures, the lower number indicates the kind of note that gets one beat (see Time or Meter Signatures for more information).

If we use 2 for the bottom number, the half note (minim) will then become the beat unit. We will now illustrate a series of rhythmic formulas written using the time signature of 2/2. Note that the half note (minim) now represents one beat, the quarter note (crotchet) is a half-beat, and the eighth note (quaver) is a fourth of a beat.

Visit the Reference Section for more information.

Translated by Dan Román, revised by Sue Talley.


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José Rodríguez Alvira.