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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:13

Lesson 5: Review of time signatures – Simple, compound, and complex

Video transcript

- [Narrator] There are three types of time signatures. Simple time, which includes any time signature with the upper number, the number of beats in each bar, divided by two, such as two eight, two four, four eight, four four, six four, eight eight, eight four, and so forth. In this category, we also include three four and three eight. In compound time signatures, the beat can be broken down into three as we've discussed like six eight, nine eight, twelve eight, fifteen eight. We also have asymmetrical time signatures, also called complex or irregular time, which generally contain five or seven beats. Let's look at a few of these. At the end of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, he wrote his wild finale in five four, a fast five four. In general the five is divided into three plus two. (intense orchestra music) When he listened to the end of the Firebird, we first hear seven four in a fast tempo divided into three plus two plus two, or two plus two plus three. (dramatic orchestra music) After a few measures, Stravinsky instructs us to play the material twice slower and the seven four becomes a slow seven four, but still divided into three plus two plus two, or two plus two plus three. (dramatic orchestra music)