Musical Dictionary – C

Common Time

A semicircle, or Common Time Signature , is sometimes used for Common Time Signature time, also called common time or imperfect time.

Origin of Common Time

A circle, the most perfect geometrical figure, was used in medieval music to indicate perfect time, ‘tempus perfectum.’

The broken circle, an imperfect figure, was used to designate imperfect time, ‘tempus imperfectum.’

The modern version of the broken circle, suggested to designate the letter C, is placed in the Time Signature to indicate 4/4.

Common Time Signature