Time Signature Charts

On this page, I’ve put together some time signatures charts of different simple and compound time signatures and how we arrange them into duple, triple and quadruple time.

All the time meters in these charts are regular time signatures. I’ll cover irregular time signatures in a different post soon.

If you’re not so familiar with regular time meters I recommend reading our Beginner’s Guide To Time Signatures which should help.

Simple Beat And Meter Type Chart

Each column shows the type of meter:

  • Duple time
  • Triple time
  • Quadruple time

And in each row it shows the type of beat.

For the simple time signatures (time signatures with a 2, 3 or a 4 as their top number) we use a crotchet beat, minim beat or a quaver beat.

I’ve then put some examples of how we’d group a bar in that time signature.

I’ve made a PDF chart that you can download and print out here:

Simple Time Signature Chart PDF

Compound Time Signature Chart

Next, we have one for the compound time signatures.

Again, we can subcategorise them into three types of time signature:

  • Duple time
  • Triple time
  • Quadruple time

And we also have the type of beat shown in the rows

But for the compound time signatures (time signatures with a 6, 9 or a 12 as their top number) we use dotted crotchets, dotted minims and dotted quavers.


I’ve made a PDF chart that you can download and print out here:

Compound Time Signature Chart PDF

Dan Farrant

Dan Farrant

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world.

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