This week’s number in the real world is the time signature in music.  The time signature consists of two numbers:

  • The bottom number indicates the note value that represents one beat.
  • The top number indicates how many beats per measure.

In the case below, the 4 means that the quarter note gets one beat, and the three indicates that there are three beats per measure.

¾ time is used for waltzes.  In case you ever want to compose a waltz, there’s tip #1.  Tip # 2 is to write it in B minor.  (I read that on the Internet, so it must be true.)

¾ time is used for other things besides waltzes, but let’s don’t get ahead of ourselves.  I’m a statistician not a musician.  Oh, I played the piano back in the 1970s, but I gave that all up for a life of number crunching.  Yes, I could be tickling the ivories on a keyboard for some rock star, but instead I’m pounding on my laptop keys for my clients.  Hey, life isn’t too bad.

Here is what I could be pounding:

Here is what I am pounding:

And here’s me pounding on the piano in the 1980s.  Who can identify the pop song I was playing? (Yes, I played the piano in the 1970s and the 1980s.)

Back to time signatures. . . for those of you who find time signatures fascinating, here is some more info:

For those of you who find time signatures super fascinating, here is a Wikipedia article on songs with unusual time signatures. Most of these songs are obscure, but there is a Grateful Dead song on the list.

For those of you who were hoping for a Bob Dylan song, there just happens to be one on this list of the 8 best songs in a waltz signature:

Gee, there is a list for everything!

Back to me. . . one of these days, I will close the lid to my laptop, open up the lid to my piano, and start playing again.  I have a grandson who needs to learn how to play the piano. He also needs to learn to calculate means, standard deviations, and probabilities, but I will wait until he is 5 for that lesson.

In the meantime, my grandson is taking lessons from the master:  my mom.

This week, make your music count, and make your week count!