4.2 Measure and time signature


Category: Elementary music theory | Tags: Measure and time signature

In this chapter, you’ll learn a new sign for the four-four meter and about syncopation. Further, you’ll have aan excercise to learn how to recognize rhythms.

1. New sign for the four-four meter


C four-four meter 4 beats per measure, a quater note gets one beat.


2. Syncopation


  syncopation when notes are played between the main beats of a measure and held across the beat.



A syncope is played on a weak beat. For example, if a note is played on the second beat of a measure and not on the first beat. Or if a note is played between two beats.

Examples of syncopation in the second and fourth measure.

This is how the syncopations in the example sound.

3. Ear training

The exercise recognizing rhythm is a preparatory exercise for Chapter 4.22 Rhythmic dictation.

The purpose of this exercise is to learn to hear the difference between two differently notated rhythms. The difference between these two rhythms concerns only one note.



Ear Training exercise 4d: the played rhythm is notated twice. Choose the right rhythm.

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Example question

The next rhythm is being played:

Choose which rhythm you hear.

Choise 1: No image!

Choise 2: No image!


Practical steps

The rhythm is notated in a six-eight meter. The difference between the first and second rhythm is the rhythm in the first group of three in the first measure:

  1. in the first rhythm, a group of three eight notes is being played.
  2. in the second rhythm, a quarter note and an eight note is being played.

Clap or tap the two notated rhythms to train your inner hearing abilties. Then play the rhythm and try to hear whether in the first of three group in the first measure

  1. a group of three eight notes is being played (choise 1) or
  2. a quarter and eight note is being played (choise 2).

Answer: choice 2.