Uncommon Musical Time Signatures / Rhythms

Even if you are just someone who cannot play a musical instrument and just like to have fun listening to songs, chances are you know most of the mainstream ones follow a 1, 2, 3, 4 beat. In musical theory studies, a student would recognize this pattern as a 4/4 time signature, popularly known as “common time.” In writing, it will be represented by either two 4’s stacked on top of each other, or by the letter “c” at the beginning of the music score.

But there are lots of other time signatures in which a song could be written. Another one that can sometimes find some popularity, is 3/4 time (three-quarter time) or better known as the waltz.

An example from an animated film, is a song from the soundtrack of “Anastasia” released November 1997 in the United States. Titled, “Once Upon a December” written by Lynn Ahrens and composed by David Newman and Stephen Flaherty, it became relatively well known in the late nineties, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

For those of you who like rock music just as much as we do, there are also some rock songs in 3/4 time that gained notoriety. Examples include guitar legend Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” and the band Weezer’s “My Name is Jonas.” There are even a couple songs in 12/8 time— “Holiday” by Green Day being played on many radio stations at one point in time.

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