Definition of cut time in US English:

cut time


North American
  • A time signature indicating 2 or 4 half-note beats in a bar; alla breve.

    ‘many fast songs are written in cut time so that instead of reading sixteenth notes, you are dealing with eighth notes’
    • ‘The song really has more of a cut-time rhythm (2/2), but I wrote it 4/4 to make it easier to read.’
    • ‘You know that cut-time bridge is coming in before too long.’
    • ‘The 2 beat pattern is used for all meters such as 2/4 and 2/2 (Cut Time).’
    • ‘Although older sheet music often shows songs in cut time, this is generally disregarded in modern performance.’
    • ‘Slatkin conducted most of the work in cut time (in two), thus allowing space for quicker tempi that seem fluid and strong, rather than fast.’
    • ‘When I see cut-time as a time signature I immediately think one backbeat per measure.’
    • ‘It just made me wonder why I see a lot more of cut time than 2/4 when you can just write the note for its true value.’
    • ‘You can create variety by changing the texture, including a countermelody, or changing the underlying rhythmic pulse (i.e. if it's a slow song maybe go into cut time [twice as fast]).’
    • ‘Cut time will still sound and look the same as common time.’
    • ‘What is the difference between playing cut time slow or 4/4 fast?’