The compound meter's time unit may be divided by three.
Some important points that we must consider in relation to these measures are:
- We recognize the compound measures because the numerator (the top number in the time signature) is 6, 9 or 12.
- We obtain the note that will occupy a beat by dividing the numerator by 3. For instance a 6/8 measure has 2 beats.
- We must add a dot to the notes that occupy a beat.
- The denominator (the bottom number) indicates the note that occupies a third of the time unit. For example in a 6/8 measure the eighth note occupies a third of a beat since a beat is occupied by 3 eighth notes or 1 dotted quarter note.
The next table show the above points:
Meter Beats Note in
Note in one