Free Easy Piano Lessons Online Part 5 – Time Signatures. Melodic and Harmonic Intervals.


Welcome to part 5 of our free easy piano lessons. In this lesson we take a look at the 4/4 time signature, melodic intervals and harmonic intervals.

Time Signature

The time signature on a musical staff tells you the meter of the music by defining both the number of beats (counts) in a measure and the type of note that fills one beat (count). Most time signatures contain two numbers. The top number tells you how many beats there are in a measure. The bottom number tells you what kind of note gets a beat.

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Four Four Time Signature

The most popular time signature is the 4/4 time signature. The following is an example of a 4/4 time signature.4/4 time signature.

In this case there are 4 beats in a measure, and a quarter note receives one beat. This means a half note gets two beats and a whole note gets four.

Four four time is used so much that it is often called common time, written as a bold “C”.4/4 time signatures. Common time.

Watch this lesson: 

A quarter note receives one count, a half note receives two counts and a whole note receives four.

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Free Easy Piano Lessons – Intervals


Next in our easy piano lessons for beginners, we take a look at melodic intervals.

The distance between notes is called an interval. When you play notes separately, one after another, you are playing a melody. The distance between these notes is called a melodic interval.

Distances between tones are measured in intervals called 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, and so on.

Let us make this much clearer by using the keys on a piano.

The distance from any white key to the next white key, up or down is called a 2nd. On the staff melodic 2nds go from line to space or from space to line.

When you skip a white key, the interval is a 3rd. On the staff, 3rds go from line to line or from space to space.

When you skip two white keys you have a melodic 4th. On the staff melodic 4ths go from line to space or vice versa.

Skip 3 white keys and you’ve got a melodic 5th. On the staff melodic 5ths go from space to space or from line to line.

For melodic 6ths you skip 4 white keys, melodic 7ths you skip 5 white keys. When you skip 6 white keys you have what is know as an octave.


Notes played together make harmony. The intervals between these notes are called harmonic intervals. Just like melodic intervals, there are harmonic 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, etc.

The difference between the two kinds of intervals is melodic intervals are played one note at a time while with harmonic intervals notes are played simultaneously.

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Piano Lessons:

  1. Lesson One
  2. Lesson Two
  3. Lesson Three
  4. Lesson Four
  5. Lesson Five
  6. Lesson Six
  7. Lesson Seven
  8. Lesson Eight
  9. Lesson Nine
  10. Lesson Ten
  11. Lesson Eleven
  12. Lesson Twelve

Piano keyboard and easy online piano lessons home page.