R hansen asks: >But you are saying they use 12/8 for this type of music in particular. Not perfect, but the best that can be done under the circumstances, and a musician would still have to be familiar with the music to actually get it.
Right, exactly. Almost; they is very indeterminate here.
Notationally, all sorts of time signatures are used. Its very amusing, from the right perspective. And in another post you asked for a mathematical example. This is a mathematical example.