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

Video transcript
- [Voiceover] 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 2/8, 2/4, 4/8, 4/4, 6/4, 8/8, 8/4, and so forth. In this category, we also include 3/4 and 3/8. In compound time signatures, that beat can be broken down into three, as we have discussed, like 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, 15/8. 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 et Chloe, he wrote his wild finale in 5/4, a fast 5/4. In general, the five is divided into three plus two. (Daphnis et Chloe) When we listen to the end of Firebird, we first hear 7/4 in a fast tempo, divided into three plus two plus two, or two plus two plus three. (Firebird) After a few measures, Stravinsky instructs us to play the material twice slower and the 7/4 becomes a slow 7/4, but still divided into three plus two plus two, or two plus two plus three. (Firebird)