Wednesday, June 15, 2011

common time and cut time

Common time is another way to describe 4/4 time.  It is written with a large C in the place of a numerical time signature.  The C is not actually an abbreviation of the word "common" as many of us were told in music class.  It is actually half of a circle which represented "imperfect" or duple meter for music theorists in the 11th-14th centuries.  The circle represented "perfect" or triple (as in Holy Trinity) meter.  This was logical in this time period in Europe as much of the developments in music, both performing and composing, were happening in the church.  Today's YouTube lesson gives a short comparison of a rhythm pattern notated in common time, cut time and 2/4 time.