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How to Count in a 3/2 Time Signature

3/2 meter can be heard in choral music from the Renaissance period.
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The 3/2 time signature indicates there are three half notes in every measure. While it is similar to the 3/4 time signature used in waltzes, the 3/2 time signature is meant to be performed more slowly. The main pulse in most 3/4 musical compositions is felt on beat one, but all three pulses in 3/2 are meant to be played deliberately, with the first beat slightly emphasized. When counting in 3/2, remember each beat is represented by a half note, not a quarter note.

Count “One, Two, Three” for each half note in the measure.

Count quarter notes in 3/2 as you would count eighth notes in 3/4. Six quarter notes in a measure are to be counted as “One And Two And Three And.”

 

Count whole notes for two beats. A whole note followed by a half note should be counted as “One (two) Three.”

 

Count eighth notes as you would count sixteenth notes in 3/4. A half note followed by four eighth notes followed by two quarter notes should be counted as “One Two-ee-and-uh Three And.”

 

Tips

  • A single note in a 3/2 measure is notated as a dotted whole note, the equivalent of three tied half notes.

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