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Not to be confused with Alla breve.
For other uses, see Double-time (disambiguation).
Basic time signatures: 4
, also known as common time (common time); 2
, also known as cut time or cut-common time (cut time); plus 2
, 3
and 6

In music and dance, double-time is a type of meter and tempo or rhythmic feel. It is also associated with specific time signatures such as 2
. Contrast with half time.

In jazz the term means using note values twice as fast as previously but without changing the pace of the chord progressions. It is often used during improvised solos.[1]

"Double time [is] doubling a rhythm pattern within its original bar structure.":[2]

1   2   3   4
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Rhythm pattern characteristic of much popular music including rock, quarter-note (crotchet) or "regular" time About this sound play 
Double-time: notice the snare moves to the "&" beats while the hi-hat begins to subdivide sixteenth notes (semiquavers).About this sound Play  Note also, for example, that the eighth notes (quavers) 'sound like' quarter notes (crotchets) in two tiny measures (bars).
Same tempos
Double-, common, and half- time offbeats at the same tempo. About this sound Play 
Equivalent tempos
Double-, common, and half- time offbeats at equivalent tempos. About this sound Play 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Randel, Don Michael (2003). Harvard dictionary of music, fourth edition, p. 253. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01163-5.
  2. ^ Gray, Acia (1998). The Souls of Your Feet: A Tap Dance Guidebook for Rhythm Explorers, p.?. ISBN 0-9667445-0-0.