What Is a Waltz Time Signature?


Traditionally, the time signature of a waltz is 3/4. The bottom number indicates that the time signature is based around a whole note, and the top number indicates that there are three whole notes in each measure.

Since the waltz typically has three beats per measure, the time signature can theoretically be written in a complex form, such as 6/8, 3/8, 6/4 and other variations. A waltz can also be written in other time signatures, including the waltz movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony, which uses the 5/4 time signature. On a sheet of music, the time signature is located to the right of the cleft. The 3/4 signature is also commonly used for minuets and scherzi.