Definition of compound time in English:

compound time


mass nounMusic
  • Musical rhythm or metre in which each beat in a bar is subdivided into three smaller units, so having the value of a dotted note.

    Compare with simple time
    • ‘The following example demonstrate the values of the notes in both simple and compound time signatures.’
    • ‘To determine the number of beats per measure in compound time, divide the time signature's upper number by 3.’
    • ‘Unlike simple time signatures, compound time signatures do not directly show us the number of beats per bar.’
    • ‘Dotted minims and dotted crotchets, foreign to simple time, are perfectly at home in compound time.’
    • ‘The irregular division of compound time is rare and notational ‘conventions’ are fluid.’