Duple and quadruple metre

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Duple metre (or Am. duple meter, also known as duple time) is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 2 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 2 and multiples (simple) or 6 and multiples (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature, with 2
2
(cut time), 2
4
, and 6
8
(at a fast tempo) being the most common examples.

Simple duple drum pattern: divides each of two beats into two About this sound Play 
Compound duple drum pattern: divides each of two beats into three About this sound Play 

Though it must, the upper figure being divisible by 2 does not of itself indicate duple metre. For example, a time signature of 6
8
usually indicates compound duple metre though it may locally emphasize simple triple, such as the famous example of Leonard Bernstein's song "America" from West Side Story.

The most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop is 4
4
.[1] Although jazz writing has become more adventurous since Dave Brubeck'sTime Out, the majority of jazz and jazz standards are still in four time.

Duple time is common in many styles including the polka, notorious for its obvious "oom-pah" duple feel. Compare to the waltz.

Binary measure refers to common time.

Quadruple metre[edit]

Quadruple metre (also quadruple time) is a musical metre characterized in modern practice by a primary division of 4 beats to the bar,[2] usually indicated by 4 in the upper figure of the time signature, with 4
4
(common time, also notated as common time) being the most common example.

Simple quadruple drum pattern: divides each of four beats into two About this sound Play 
Compound quadruple drum pattern: divides each of four beats into three About this sound Play 

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Schroedl, Scott (2001). Play Drums Today!, p.42. Hal Leonard. ISBN 0-634-02185-0.
  2. ^ Anon. 2001. "Quadruple Time". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.