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What is the time signature for "Greensleeves"?

Question #73142. Asked by Jubal.
Last updated Sep 30 2016.

smartie806
Answer has 3 votes
smartie806
19 year member
445 replies

Answer has 3 votes.

Dec 10 2006, 1:36 PM
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zbeckabee star
Answer has 4 votes
Currently Best Answer
zbeckabee star
Moderator
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 4 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
That is determined by the arrangement of the song. For example, Greensleeves and/or What Child Is This are typically 3/4 or 6/8 but Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) has a version of Greensleeves in 7/4.


[http//indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A20666 -- this link is broken]

Response last updated by Nammage on Sep 30 2016.
Dec 10 2006, 2:02 PM
avatar
zbeckabee star
Answer has 4 votes
zbeckabee star
Moderator
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 4 votes.
Incidentally, here is a version in 3/4 AND in 4/4...which is probably why you are asking because it can sound like either.

[http//southwinddulcimer.com/03725.html -- this link is broken]


Response last updated by Nammage on Sep 30 2016.
Dec 10 2006, 2:05 PM
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Baloo55th
Answer has 2 votes
Baloo55th
21 year member
4545 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
I reckon I play it in 6/8.

Dec 10 2006, 3:03 PM
Arpeggionist
Answer has 2 votes
Arpeggionist
21 year member
2173 replies

Answer has 2 votes.
I'm sure the composer wrote it originally in 6/4.

Dec 11 2006, 2:27 AM
Gnomon
Answer has 2 votes
Gnomon
23 year member
1331 replies

Answer has 2 votes.
At the time that Greensleeves was written, they didn't use bar lines and time signatures, so the composer would not have used a time signature. Which one you use know depends on exactly how fast you are playing it, but it is definitely a triple time, based on 3. So you can pick 3/4, 6/4 or 6/8 - all are valid.

Dec 11 2006, 2:50 AM
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Jubal
Answer has 2 votes
Jubal
22 year member
65 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
Thanks for the help.

Dec 11 2006, 2:58 PM
Arpeggionist
Answer has 4 votes
Arpeggionist
21 year member
2173 replies

Answer has 4 votes.
"At the time that Greensleeves was written, they didn't use bar lines and time signatures, so the composer would not have used a time signature..."

They actually did, if you go by the theory that the composer was Henry VIII. Metric musical notation had been invented hundreds of years earlier in France, and the days of Franconian notation were on the way out in most of Europe by the mid 16th century.

Dec 11 2006, 4:55 PM
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