The kinds of measures we have studied so far use what is known as simple meter. With simple meters, each beat is subdivided into equal halves. In the case of a 4/4 meter, each beat is divided into two eighth notes, as we saw earlier.

In compound meters, beats are subdivided into three equal parts. We can tell a compound meter because it uses 6, 9, or 12 for the top number of the time signature. Let’s take a look at several examples of the compound meter of 6 over 8 (6/8). This meter has two beats; the note value with the value of a beat is the dotted quarter note (crotchet), which can be subdivided into three eighth notes (quaver).

Visit the Reference Section for more information.

Translated by Dan Román, revised by Sue Talley.


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José Rodríguez Alvira.