What is it, why does it exist and how do you make sense of it? Cut time is the time signature that uses 2/2 as the time signature. You may also see it represented like this:
Cut time means you can have two half notes per measures or what is equal to two half notes in each measure.
So why 2/2 and not 4/4? Because in 2/2 time the beats feel larger! In 4/4 you have four beats that feel strong, weak, medium and weak. In 2/2 all you have is a strong and a weak beat.
People tend to get mixed up when they are playing in cut time because they are used to a quarter note equaling 1 beat. In order to be successful with cut time you need to reset your brain to move all the note values backwards. Two now equals 1. I know, it is a little confusing but let’s break down common note values in 2/2 time
Half Note = 1. Feels just like a quarter note does in 4/4 time.
Quarter note = ½ a beat. This means that they feel like 8th notes do in 4/4 time and you can count them 1 and 2 and etc.
8th notes = now feel like 16th notes so you will want to count these 1 e and a 2 e and a.
This lesson will give you some visual examples of cut time so that you can see them and then clap along with Cassi as you get a feel for it! Then you can play new pieces in cut time with confidence.
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