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Odd meters
The most common meter in (Western) music is 4/4.
The denominator tells you that every beat has a value of a quarter note. The numerator, in this case also 4, tells you how many quarter notes there are in a measure.

So, there are 4 quarter notes per measure in 4/4.

#### Example

• Play the movie. Listen to the drums and tap your foot. This is the tempo or the beat of this song. Every tap is a beat, a quarter note.
• Now listen to the other instruments. You will notice that ‘something’ changes every 4 beats. In this case the chord and bass note.

The next example also has a quarter note subdivision. Only this time it's not 4/4.

• Play the movie. Listen to the drums and tap your foot. This is the tempo or beat of the song. Every tap is a quarter note.
• Now listen to the other instruments. This time you'll notice ‘something ’ changing every 5 beats. Again it's the bass note and the chord. This song is in 5/4.

Follow the same steps in the next example.

• You'll notice that, after a while, the beats no longer correspond to the tapping of your foot, but some time later it matches again. It looks like we're dealing with half beats somewhere in this song.
• In time signatures with full beats we use a 4 in the denominator. Since we are dealing with half beats, we'll divide the denominator by 2. 1/4 divided by 2 is 1/8. When searching for the numerator, we will have to adjust our way of counting. Instead of tapping every quarter note, we'll tap on every eighth note.