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Reading Question?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by tocoadog, Jul 3, 2005.


  1. tocoadog

    tocoadog

    Apr 10, 2005
    Typical 4/4 time has the little (I think) has the little "1 cent" symbol that looks like "c", that, or something to that effect.

    Now, if I see that symbol, the "c", but with a vertical line through it, what does that mean? I've seen it written before, but through my books I couldn't find it. I'm trying to read some CCR tunes (I know I know, but these guys are good for blues progressions :) ), and a lot of their tunes are in this fashion.

    Doesn't this mean 1/2 time? And if so, how do I play that? Faster, slower?

    Any help would be very cool.
     
  2. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    That's "cut time" or 2/2. It doesn't affect the tempo.
     
  3. leanne

    leanne

    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    well cut time is two beats per bar...
     
  4. leanne

    leanne

    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    But technically in cut time a half note is one "beat."
     
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I think polkas are written in 2/4...

    One thing I think it's important about cut time: The right way of understanding this time signature is like two beats, each one being a half note. That's why the fractionary number for this is 2/2. But I've known people who prefer to think of that as a 4/4 measure at double speed (four beats, each one being a quarter note), which may not be strictly correct, but valid IMO. So many people ask: Why writing a piece in 2/2 instead of 4/4 at double speed? There's a "psychological" reason for that: When you are an experienced player with good reading skills and you're given a sheet written in 2/2 time, the cut time signature automatically "warns" you that the piece you're about to play is something that goes fast. Not necessarily super fast, but fast enough to become counting 1-2-3-4 at double speed (thinking as 4/4) an uncomfortable task. Counting beats the right way in this time signature results in a more relaxed subdivision. Something similar happens with 6/8 time: It can be understood as a 6 beats measure, each one being an 8th note, or as a 2 beat measure, each one being a dotted quarter note. The first way is used in very slow pieces while the second is adequate for faster ones.