Popular examples of Music written in 3/4 Time: A historic Look in ~ the use of the 3/4 Time Signature in popular Songs

While we have previously covered different time signatures in various other tutorials, today we’d prefer to discover a time signature often forgotten about when reasoning of modern-day popular music. If everyone has actually surely heard or also danced to the 3/4 time signature (listen right here for instance 3/4 time drum tracks), it’s not among the more common ones you’ll hear in today’s well-known music.

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That time signature is ¾ time.

And, despite it is no as frequently seen in renowned music as its following door neighbor, 4/4, the 3/4 meter absolutely has played crucial rhythmic function in numerous popular songs and also musical genres, even if it is you realize it or not. In fact, 3/4 time played a significant role in famous music in the mid 20th century, also as its use has actually slowed in the very first 20 years of the new century.

But, before we get into a perform of peak 3/4 time signature songs from renowned music, let’s make certain we all understand this under-appreciated meter. And, if you’re currently knowledgeable about various time signatures, examine out the drum loops we have easily accessible and get inspired come write brand-new music today.

So, first things, first: what is 3/4 time?

Table of Contents

Songs in ¾

An introduction to ¾ Time

If you’ve ever danced to a waltz, climate you already know the time signature 3/4. The earliest referrals to the waltz walk back about 500 years. Couples were defined as dancing through rhythmic turns in “triple time” across the dance floor. This triple meter dance has actually obviously withstood in the ballroom, but it eventually uncovered its means into popular music. And, sometimes, in some of the most diverse musical contexts, consisting of country, pop, dance, and even metal.

Before us look at 3/4, stop look in ~ 4/4, a time signature every knows and is comfortable with.

Obviously, 4/4 time is the most common time signature of western music. Almost all modern-day music, whether it’s i know well hop, house, pop, country, rock, funk, techno, drum-and-bass, or steel is in 4/4 time. It’s so common that it is even referred to as “common time”! In common time, a quarter note equals one beat. Each measure has four quarter-notes, so girlfriend have 4 “beats.”

True, the accented beats can vary rather a little in 4/4 time. Possibly a 4/4 rhythm accents the “two and “four” favor this: One, two, three, four / one, two, three, four. Or, that may even accent favor this top top the “three”: One, two, three, four… and also so on. There are other variations, that course, but the stressed beats or interval pattern doesn’t dictate the moment signature. It’s only the variety of notes (in this case, four) you can fit right into a measure that will determine its declared time signature.

Understandably, no one today needs to counting to four to recognize the pulse of the 4/4 rhythm. This rhythm can be heard, or perhaps more important, “felt” in almost all the music us hear around us. So, let’s leave “common time” behind and move top top an explanation that a small less that a “common time” and explore ¾ time.

To begin understanding ¾ time, stop get ago to the waltz. Here’s a refresher:

A waltz is performed through an internal count that could go prefer this: One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three, and also so on. The counted valuation is 3/4 time. Each measure up of ¾ time is 3 quarter-notes long, nevertheless of how many other ways you have the right to sub-divide this time signature. Clearly, ¾ has actually a different feel 보다 4/4, doesn’t it?

One thing you will certainly notice, however, with all time signatures, including ¾, is exactly how tempo deserve to vastly adjust the “feel” of the rhythm. To it is in clear, the speed that a musical piece (the tempo) is wholly independent of the moment signature. But, an altering the tempo have the right to have vast implications of just how a time signature is felt.

As girlfriend go v the perform of ¾ song below, an alert how tempo dictates just how we perceive the music. Merely speeding a song up or down can have dramatic effects and will likely dictate what kind of music genre a work-related will autumn under. Quicker tempos create more energy while acquisition the tempo down will create more space and also even mood.

Songs in ¾

As you hear to our peak picks for music in ¾, shot tapping out the ¾ rhythm. Just remember the counting of “One, two, three. One, two, three” even as countless of this tunes won’t feeling waltzy at all.

But, through all time signatures, when you get beyond counting, it’s vital that you feel the time signature together well. Much of what gives ¾ that “different” feeling lies in the truth that it uses an odd variety of beats, no matter how they are accented or just how the tempo might vary.

Although no as typical today, the ¾ time signature to be a clip of countless pop access time in the fifties and also sixties. The popular music charts are complete of ¾, waltz-inspired hits, regularly without drums or even full-band accompaniment.

So, dig right into our perform of top ¾ songs and feel the rhythm. We’re walking to walk in historical order to monitor its evolution.


Look up and down the charts native the 1950s and you will see many tunes employing 3/4. Specifically if friend look in ~ the at an early stage 50s. Here are 3 picks, despite we can have selected a variety of other songs. What friend will plainly notice in this examples, though, is exactly how they all keep that classic 3/4 waltz feel. It would certainly be several years later until the 3/4 meter began to take on an ext varied feels.

Patti web page – “The Tennessee Waltz” (1950). As much as we deserve to tell, there’s not a drum in site in this tune. But, it’s unquestionably a an extremely traditional 3/4 tune.

Patti page – “Mockingbird Hill” (1951). An additional one from Patti Page. And, this time around, friend are starting to hear part drums locking in the 3/4 groove.


The 60s continued using 3/4 time in plenty of popular songs. And, if the decade started pretty traditionally with the 3/4 feel found on Elvis’ covering of “Are girlfriend Lonesome Tonight?,” check out where the decade ends: with Hendrix’s mind-bending and relentless use of 3/4 meter in “Manic Depression.” In the span of seven years, you can see just how much adjusted so quickly.

Elvis Presley – “Are you Lonesome Tonight?” (recorded by The King in 1960)

Jackie De Shannon – “What the human being Needs Now” (1965)

Bob Dylan – “The times They room A-Changin’” (1964)

Julie andrews – “My favourite Things” (1965)

The Beatles “We deserve to Work the Out” hear for the ¾ time in the bridges of the tune (1966)

Jimi Hendrix – “Manic Depression” (1967) (finally, we will start hearing part ripping drums in these songs!)


Black Sabbath – “Behind The wall Of Sleep” (1970) The ¾ is in the intro, up until the main verse riff i beg your pardon moves into 4/4 time.

Engelbert Humperdinck – “The critical Waltz” (1967)

Paul Simon – “Still crazy After all These Years” (1975). 3/4 or 6/8? should we controversy this one?

Wings – “Mull of Kyntyre” (1977)


Elvis Costello – “New Amsterdam” (1980)

Golden Brown – “The Stranglers” (1981)

Metallica – “One” (1988) The song has actually 4/4, 3/4 (verses) and some 2/4 thrown in there for an excellent measure.

1990s and also 2000s

Gang Starr – “Stay Tuned” (1992)

Björk – “It’s oh So Quiet” (covered through Björk in 1995)

I attract Slow – “Hesitation Waltz” (2011)

Kelly Clarkson – “Breakaway” (2004)

Concluding Thoughts

Of course, ¾ is just one of plenty of time signatures. Beyond ¾ and 4/4, there’s 2/4 (if you’ve ever heard a polka, did you do it heard 2/4) as well as uncommon meters choose 5/4, 7/4, 94 and beyond (if she a prog-rock or frank Zappa fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard some lesser-known time signatures.

And, past using quarter-notes together the rhythmic base, over there are many other meters out there choose 5/8, 7/8, 9/8. In these time signatures, eighth notes are thought about the an easy structure the the measure.

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And, if you followed our list of height 3/4 time signature songs, you’ll notice that often time signatures can readjust within a piece. When the music might not be built entirely around the 3/4 meter, numerous songs do, in fact, us it to assist distinguish melodic alters or structural activity within a composition.