Common Time

Pronunciation: KAH-mon time


What is Common Time?

Common Time is a time signature marked by 4 beats per measure, with the quarter note having a single beat. It is a musical meter symbolized by the letter “C,” and is the only time signature indicated by a marking aside from the typical numerical fraction.

Key Takeaways

  1. Common Time is the most frequently used time signature in music.
  2. Common Time means there are four beats per measure.
  3. It is represented by the symbol “C” and is the only time signature that can be indicated with a symbol, aside from its fraction of 4/4.

Understanding Common Time

Common Time is represented by the fraction 4/4 and is the most common and simplest time signature. The 4/4 meter does not mean, however, that each measure only has four quarter notes. It means that for each measure, there are beats that contain several different notes, such as a quarter note, eighth note, half rest, half notes, and other values.

Related Terms

Cut Time Cut time is a time signature that’s also known as Alle Breve, or cut common time. more

Andante Andante is a time indicator placed above a piece of music that tells the musician to play the song at a moderately slow pace. more

A Tempo A Tempo is an indicator on a musical composition indicating to return to the original tempo or the song. more

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