ABRSM Grade 2 Music Theory introduces a new kind of exercise with time signatures which you didn’t see in Grade 1: rewriting music in a new time signature.

This is a multiple choice question which will ask you to select a correctly written melody using notes and rests which have either TWICE or HALF the value of the original.

Here is a melody rewritten in notes of twice the value:

The “rhythmic effect” of the music is unchanged – this means the music would sound the same, as long as you changed the tempo to match.

## Calculating the Note Values

Start by jotting down, lightly in pencil, the value of each note in order, like this:

If the note values are rewritten twice as long, each of the original notes should change to the next longest type of note. So, if you have a

, change it into a ;

if you have a , change it into a ,

and so on.

If the notes values are re written half as long, each of the original notes should change to the next shortest type of note. So, if you have a

, change it into a ;

if you have a , change it into a ,

## Dots and ties

Dots and ties should appear in exactly the same places as they do in the original. The only things that change are the note values and the time signature.

## Calculating the New Time Signature

If the note values are twice as long, the beat will also become twice as long. A crotchet (quarter note) beat will become a minim (half note), for example. 2/4 time will become 2/2 time – halve the lower number in the time signature.

If the notes values are half as long, the beat will also become half as long. A crotchet (quarter note) beat will become a quaver (8th note). 3/4 time will become 3/8 time – double the lower number in the time signature.

## Rewriting Exercises

Half the Value

1. Rewrite the following tunes in notes and rests of half the value, beginning as shown.

a.

b.

c.

Twice the value

2. Rewrite the following tunes in notes and rests of twice the value, beginning as shown.

a.

b.

c.