time signature


Definition of time signature

: a sign used in music to indicate meter and usually written as a fraction with the bottom number indicating the kind of note used as a unit of time and the top number indicating the number of units in each measure

Examples of time signature in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are short lessons on time signature and melody and her favorite vocal warm-ups. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Rap videos, virtual running club, bookmobile: Teachers go above and beyond amid pandemic," 4 May 2020 The amalgamation of international styles influenced the group to experiment with unfamiliar sounds, unconventional pacing and uncommon time signatures for an upcoming album. Raj Tawney, Billboard, "The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 'Time Out' at 60: Inside Jazz's First Million-Selling LP," 13 Dec. 2019 Well, even nondrummers have to be in awe of his ability to turn percussion into a new dimension, with varied time signatures and tempos. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Neil Peart: an homage to one rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest drummers and lyricists: Chuck Yarborough," 12 Jan. 2020 Evans strung some serpentine riffs over the tune’s unconventional time signature. Dan Emerson, Twin Cities, "Bad Plus brings holiday cheer to the Dakota — along with a new album," 26 Dec. 2019 Nearly all of the songs Bennett analyzed were in a major key, and 90 percent were 4/4 time, the most danceable time signature (4 beats to a measure, quarter-note gets a beat). Bonnie Berkowitz, Washington Post, "All we want for Christmas is ... these songs. Here’s why.," 20 Dec. 2019 Yet Brubeck also was quite controversial at points, his experiments in unorthodox time signatures and cross-genre experiments drawing purists’ ire. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "A musical feast for the holiday weekend," 25 Nov. 2019 Our songs tend to be in time signatures other than 4/4 – like 6/8. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Local music picks for Phoenix: Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Calabrese, Carol Pacey," 6 Sep. 2019 And each of the musical notes has a time signature associated with it. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Snake oil or genius? Crown Sterling tells its side of Black Hat controversy," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'time signature.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of time signature

1875, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for time signature

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The first known use of time signature was in 1875

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Cite this Entry

“Time signature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time%20signature. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for time signature

time signature


English Language Learners Definition of time signature

: a number that is written at the beginning of a piece of music and that shows the number and length of the beats in each measure

More from Merriam-Webster on time signature

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about time signature

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