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The Time Signature is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are to be contained in each musical measure and which note value is equivalent to one beat.

A Time Signature is a set of two numbers, one on top of the other one, written right after the Key Signature in a piece of music. The two numbers in a Time Signature tell you how many of one kind of note there are in each measure in the song.

#### The Numerator (the upper number in the Time Signature):

Tells you how many of a certain kind of note there are in each measure.

#### The Denominator (the lower number in the Time Signature):

Tells you what kind of note is used a certain number of times in each measure.

For example, 4/4 means that there are 4 beats in each measure while one beat lasts one quarter note, and a 3/4 means that there are 3 beats in each measure while one beat lasts one quarter note.

That sounds quite simple in theory. But in reality, it is a bit more complicated, as Time Signatures are much more than just their technical specification. The meaning of a specific Time Signature is often a combination of tradition, common usage, and the technical specification.

The probably best known special cases are 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8.

Following the specification, 12/8 would mean that there are 12 beats in each measure and one beat lasts one eight note. And in fact, there are some rare cases where this is true. But most of the time, a 12/8 means actually that there are 4 beats per measure and one beat lasts one dotted-quarter note (or 3 eight notes). Therefore a 12/8 can also be called a 4/4 with Triplet feeling.

Read more about Time Signatures at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_signature

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