# Module 1 – Rhythm

In each lesson there is a video and most also contain a pdf worksheet of questions to support your understanding. The answers are included too!

Once you have finished the lesson check out the end-of-module quizzes

### 1. Recap of time Signatures

There are no worksheets for this first lesson.

Written summary of the video

In this first video we will recap the concept of time signatures and what they are used for in music.

A time signature is the two numbers written at the start of almost every piece of music!

A time signature tells you how many beats there are in a bar and what type of note you will count in.

The top number tells you how many beats.
The bottom number tells you what type of note.

2 at the bottom = minim beats
4 at the bottom = crotchet beats
An 8 at the bottom = quaver beats
16 at the bottom = semiquaver beats

In the next video we will explore Simple and Compound time signatures. Do you know what the difference is?

### 2. Simple Time Signatures

Simple Time Signatures Worksheet

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In order to confidently understand and use time signatures we must first visit simple time signatures.

In order to understand what a simple time signature is, it is important to know about strong beats! A time signature is defined by how many strong beats it has.

• If there are two strong beats this is called DUPLE
• If there are three strong beats this is called TRIPLE
• If there are four strong beats this is called QUADRUPLE

The time signature 2/4 for example means two crotchet beats in a bar. There are two strong beats and therefore this is a DUPLE time signature.

The time signature 3/4 means 3 crotchet beats per bar. There are three strong beats and therefore this is a TRIPLE time signature.

The time signature 4/4 means 4 crotchet beats per bar. There are four strong beats and therefore this is a QUADRUPLE time signature.

In each of these simple time signatures the strong beats divide into two equal parts.

• A crotchet divides into two quavers.
• A minim divides into two crotchets.
• A quaver divides into two semiquavers.

Another easy way to spot a simple time signature is by looking at the top number of the time signature. If the number is 2, 3 or 4 then the time signature is simple!

Move onto the next video to understand compound time signatures!

### 3. Compound Time Signatures

Compound Time Signature Worksheet

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In this video we will explore compound time signatures.

As with simple time signatures, in order to understand what they are we must be confident with how many strong beats there are in each bar. A time signature is defined by its strong beats.

DUPLE = two strong beats in a bar
TRIPLE = three strong beats in a bar
QUADRUPLE = four strong beats in a bar

In compound time each strong beat divides into three equal parts, meaning that each main beat will be a dotted note.

The time signature 6/8 means two dotted crotchets in bar and so would be labelled as COMPOUND DUPLE.

The time signature 9/8 means three dotted crotchets in a bar and so would be labelled as COMPOUND TRIPLE.

The time signature 12/8 means four dotted crotchets in a bar and so would be labelled as COMPOUND QUADRUPLE.

In each of these compound time signatures the main beats divide into three equal parts.

A dotted minim divides into three crotchets
A dotted crotchet divides into three quavers
A dotted quaver divides into three semiquavers

Another easy way to spot a compound time signature is by looking at the top number. If the number is 6, 9 or 12 then the time signature is compound!

Move onto the next video to learn how to move between the two different types of time signature – simple and compound.

### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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In the Grade 5 music theory exam you must be confident moving melodies between simple and compound time signatures without changing the rhythmic effect.

Here are a few easy rules to help you move between simple and compound time signatures without changing the rhythmic effect of the music

2. Make sure you know whether you are moving from a simple time signature to a compound time signature or from a compound time signature to a simple time signature?

3. Check what type of beat you are working with. If you are working with crotchets then both your simple and compound time signature should use crotchets, if you are working with quavers then both your simple and compound time signatures should use quavers.

For example:
If you are moving from 2/4 – 6/8:

In 2/4 each beat divides into two quavers and in 6/8 – each beat divides into three quavers!

If you are moving from 2/2 – 6/4:

In 2/2 – each beat divides into two crotchets and in 6/4 – each beat divides into three crotchets!

In the next video we will look at exactly how to move from a simple time signature to a compound time signature without changing the rhythmic effect.

### 5. Moving From Simple to Compound

Simple to Compound Worksheet

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First thing to remind yourself of is that in a simple time signature, the strong beats divide into two and in a compound time signature the strong beats divide into three.

When you see this question in the exam the key thing to remember is that you don’t want to change the rhythmic effect. This means you want the music to sound the same in both of the time signatures!

4/4 is a simple quadruple time signature. Quadruple, because there are four main beats and simple because each of these beats divide into two!

When moving this to a compound time signature without changing the rhythmic effect, we need to find a compound time signature that has four main beats i.e. Quadruple. These beats should also divide into quavers, because our 4/4 time signature beats divide into quavers!

12/8 will be the time signature we move to.

12/8 is a compound quadruple time signature because it has four main strong beats that divide into three! These four main strong beats will be dotted crotchets. Each dotted crotchet divides into three quavers.

When doing a question involving moving from simple to compound or vice versa we won’t just deal with crotchets and dotted crotchets. We will also see lots of other different note lengths.

For example:

2/2 – 6/4

2/2 has two strong minim beats that divide into two crotchets

6/4 has two strong dotted minim beats that divide into three crotchets.

In a simple time signature, we may see triplets. Putting this into a compound time signature is easy because we simply remove the triplet sign. Each beat in a compound time signature divides into three anyway!

You will also see something called duplets. A duplet is used in compound time signatures when you want to have two notes in the space of three!

In the next video we will explore moving from a compound time signature to a simple time signature.

### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### 6. Moving From Compound to Simple

Compound to Simple Worksheet

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In this video you will learn how to rewrite music in compound time using a simple time signature, but keeping the rhythmic effect of the piece the same.

When moving from a compound time signature to a simple time signature, your strong/main beats are will now be moving from beats that could be divided into three, into beats that can now be divided into two.

If you have a 9/8 bar, for example, this time signature has three strong beats in a bar. In other words, it is a triple time signature.

Each of these three strong beats easily divide into three. We can see this because each beat is dotted!

In order for this to be written out into a simple time signature, we need to find a simple time signature that is triple, we are also dealing with dotted crotchets that divide into quavers.

The 9/8 time signature would become a 3/4 time signature. In 3/4 we have three main beats and each of these beats divide into two!

We won’t just see crotchets and dotted crotchets when tackling this problem, we will also see many other different note lengths.

It is very common when moving from a compound time signature to a simple time signature, to see a duplet! We discussed this briefly in the last video, but a duplet is simply a small number 2 placed above two notes to indicate that the performer should play two notes in the space of 3!

Because in a compound time signature, each beat normally divides into three, the use of a duplet is necessary if you only want two notes in a beat. This is particularly useful when moving from compound to simple and vice versa.

If you are moving from compound to simple, you just simply need to remove this duplet sign, because in a simple time signature our beats divide into two anyway!

Adding a triplet sign is also useful when moving from compound to simple. In a compound time signature, each beat divides into three, but in a simple time signature each beat divides into two. If you would like to move from compound to simple, you can add a triplet sign above the three quavers to make it fit into a simple time signature.

In the next video we will visit a new type of time signature – the irregular time signature!

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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In this video we will learn what irregular time signatures are and how they are different from simple and compound time.

In the last few videos, we saw that both the simple and compound time signatures have something in common. That is how many main beats they have! Both the Simple and Compound time signatures can be duple, triple or quadruple.

The irregular time signatures are a different story! The beats in an irregular time signature do not divide up equally!

The number at the top of an irregular time signature is an odd number that cannot be divided up equally. The most common irregular time signatures are:

5/4
5/8
7/4
7/8

In the next video we will look at how to group these notes correctly.

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### 8. irregular time signature groupings

Irregular Time Signature Groupings Worksheet

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In this video we will learn how to group your notes in an irregular time signature. As the notes cannot be divided up equally it is important to understand how you can effectively group the notes in these time signatures.

In 5/4 we will group is in one of two ways.

Either: dotted minim followed by minim or minim followed by dotted minim.

This means that if you have for example, a bar full of quavers you could join the first six quavers together and then the last four or if you are grouping the other way around, simply switch this. But you can never join all quavers in one long line. Very similar to how you group simple and compound time signatures, except the groups are uneven.

In 7/4 this will also be grouped in one of two ways:
Either: dotted minim, minim, minim or minim, minim, dotted minim

In 5/8 this can also be grouped in one of two ways:

Either: crotchet followed by dotted crotchet OR dotted crotchet followed by crotchet.

In 7/8 this can be divide into one of two ways. Either: crotchet, crotchet, dotted crotchet or dotted crotchet, crotchet, crotchet.

REMEMBER

• In a 7/8 or 7/4 time signature the dotted note will never be in the middle!
• A 5/4 or 5/8 time signature is called Quintuple time
• A 7/4 or 7/8 time signature is called Septuple time

In the next video we will look at some new irregular time divisions.

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### 9. Irregular time signature divisions

Irregular Time Signature Divisions Worksheet

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In this video we will learn how to read music that includes quintuplets, sextuplets and septuplets.

TRIPLET
A triplet means three notes in the space of two

QUINTUPLET
A quintuplet means five notes in the space of four

SEXTUPLET
A sextuplet means six notes in the space of four

SEPTUPLET
A septuplet means seven notes in the space of four

Check out the practice tests for this section!

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### Revision of Grouping: Simple Time Signatures

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In this video we take you through how to beam notes in common simple time signatures. This is such an important topic so if you are not completely certain of how to beam then make sure to watch this video!

Make sure to check out the exercises at the end of the compound time signature video to revise this topic further!

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### Revision of Grouping: Compound Time Signatures

Revision of Grouping Worksheet

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In this video we take you through how to beam notes in common compound time signatures.

This is such an important topic so if you are not completely certain of how to beam then make sure to watch this video!

Make sure to check out the exercises to revise this topic further!

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet

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### 4. Moving Between Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Moving between… Worksheet

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### Revision of Common Rests

Revision of Common Rests Worksheet

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Another important topic to be clear on is knowing the most common rests. In this video we recap all rests that you need to know before the exam.

Make sure to complete the revision worksheets to ensure you understand these all fully!

### 7. An introduction to Irregular time signatures

Intro to Irregular Time Signatures Worksheet