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BARS AND TIME SIGNATURES

SUMMARY

1) Rhythm is a mixture of sounds and silences referred to as “notes” and “rests”.

2) Each note and rest has a value, denoting how long it should be held for.

3) How long a note or rest lasts for is described in "beats".

WHAT ARE BARS?

Bars are a way of dividing up music into smaller sections. On a piece of written music each vertical line, known as the bar line, signals the end of one bar and the start of another. In this piece, there are 8 bars of music.

Bars can be made from any mixture of notes and rests. However all bars must add up to a certain number. This number is set by the Time Signature.

Time Signatures

The Time Signature tells you how many beats there are per bar. Beats per bar simply means how much each bar must add up to. You will find the Time Signature at the beginning of a piece of music, represented by two numbers:

For now, we are only interested in the top number: 3 in this example. This is the number that tells you how many beats there are per bar. Every bar in this example must add up to 3. This can be through any mixture of notes or rests, providing they equal 3. Here's some different ways we can use Crotchets and Minims to add to 3:

If we change the number at the top, we change how many beats there are per bar. This number can be anything however 2, 3 and 4 are most common ones.

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NOTES AND NAMES

NOTES AND NAMES

NOTES AND NAMES

WHAT IS RHYTHM?