The meter of work is indicated at the beginning by two numbers, one above the other: the lower indicates the chosen unit of measurement (half-note, quarter-note, etc.), while the upper indicates the number of such units that make up a measure. In simple times, such as 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4, each beat is normally halved to form eighth-notes, etc. In compound times, such as 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8, the basic beat is grouped into threes to form dotted notes.
In faster tempos, musicians can regard these dotted notes as the actual beat.« Back to Glossary Index