Time Signature


Silver Member
How many times has it been said, "Know the history"?

Prior to modern notation Mensural Notation existed which didn't use time signatures or bar lines. Notes were tied to melody and tempo and for the reason being defined as not having the ambiguity discussed here. In other words, there really is nothing new here. It was thought about back in the 13th Century.


Marching also helps with understanding time signatures because the time is in the steps which defines which note is which--along with the BPM.


Senior Member
7/4 is an improper fraction. I say the piece is written in 1 3/4.
Similar things have legitimately been done.

In this case, though it would 1 3/4 over 1

1 3/4


Top number = how many beats in a bar (can be any number)

Bottom number = which note value gets one beat (can only be 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc - as these are the only note values available in standard musical notation)


con struct

Platinum Member
But why complicate things?

Let's start over. The tune in question is in 7/4. Why would it be called 7/8? What would be gained or achieved by that?

What would be gained by calling the Youtube clip of Miles Davis' band playing "Walkin'" anything but 4/4?

Why be so, well, esoteric about it?

Simple works. I'll take simple over complicated any time.