The kinds of measures we have studied so far use what is known as simple meter. With simple meters, each beat is subdivided in equal halves. In the case of a 4/4 meter, each beat is divided into two eighth notes, as we saw earlier.

With compound meters, each beat is subdivided into three equal parts. We can tell a compound meter because it uses 6, 9 or 12 for the top number of the time signature. Let’s take a look at several examples of the compound meter of 6 over 8 (6/8). This meter actually has two beats; the note value that has the value of a beat is the dotted quarter note (crotchet), which can be subdivided into three eighth notes (quaver).

Visit the Reference Section for more information.


Translated by Dan Román, revised by Sue Talley.




    
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José Rodríguez Alvira.