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EMT Lesson One  How to read music

Reading time signatures

The top number of a time signature shows how many beats are in each bar. The bottom number refers to the type of note each beat represents. In the case of a time signature of 4/4 this means that there are four (4) beats in the bar and each beat is worth the value of a quarter (¼) note (4 x 1/4 = 4/4).

A time signature of 6/8 would therefore mean that the music has the equivalent of six (6) eighth (⅛) notes in a bar (6 x 1/8 = 6/8). Let us look at note values in depth to explain what this means…

Next: Note values