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### Measures of Music and Fractions

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Date: 01/13/99 at 21:00:42
From: Prince
Subject: Transcribing measures of music

Hello Dr. Math,

Can you explain how to transcribe 8 measures of sheet music into
fractions? I need to include staff, punctuation, time stamp, sharps,
and flats.

Thank you, Prince
```

```
Date: 01/14/99 at 13:09:19
From: Doctor Mike
Subject: Re: Transcribing measures of music

Hello,

I cannot tell for sure what kind of answers you need, but here is a
start.

I assume you have the sheet music already. When you look at a
particular note in a measure, one thing you can ask is "What fraction
of a whole measure is that note?" You do not have to consider the
sharps and flats to answer this, but you do need to know the time
signature.

Let's look at a few. The most common time is "four-four," which is
written as 4 with another 4 under it: 4 beats to a measure with a
quarter note (1/4 note) getting one beat. Another frequent example is
"six-eight," which means 6 beats to a measure with an eighth note
(1/8 note) getting one beat.

Let's focus on six-eight because the numbers are different. What
fraction of the measure is an eighth note? This is the same kind of
situation as where you cut a pie up into 6 equal slices. One slice is
1/6 of the whole pie, and 2 slices make 2/6 or 1/3 of the pie. If you
take one slice away, 5/6 of the pie is left. You remember that, right?
It's the same with the measures of six-eight music. An eighth note is
1/6 of the measure; a quarter note is the same as 2 eighth notes, so it
is 2/6 or 1/3 of the measure. A dotted quarter note is the same as 3
eighth notes, so it is 3/6 or 1/2 of the measure.

Let's say the six-eight time measure has a dotted quarter, followed
by a regular quarter note and finally an eighth note. These would be
1/2 of the measure, 1/3 of the measure, and 1/6 of the measure,
respectively. One way to check your work is to make sure all the
fractions add up to 1, because "all of" the measure is the fraction
1/1:

1/2  +  1/3  +  1/6  =  3/6  +  2/6  +  1/6  =  6/6  =  1

That's all I'll say for now. I hope this helps. If you need more, or

- Doctor Mike, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions
Middle School Fractions

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