KS3 Music Quiz - Time and Key Signatures 01 (Questions)

Time and key signatures are vital parts of musical notation so, unsurprisingly, KS3 music students must familiarise themselves with both. This quiz on basic time and key signatures will help!

You will find quavers and beats in relation to time and key signatures in music. The time signature tells us how many beats are in each bar and which type of note makes up each beat. The key signature tells us which key the music should be played in. It's made up of sharps and flats on the staff and is written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of music.

'Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases,' so said Samuel Butler. Let's see if you know the rules in this quiz on basic time and key signatures.

1. What is a time signature?
[ ] A set time limit for the performance
[ ] A signed calendar date printed on the score
[ ] A way of showing how many beats a bar is made up of
[ ] The average time a piece of music takes to play
2. What is 'common time'?
[ ] A method of describing a repeated rhythm
[ ] An alternative way of writing the 4/4 time signature
[ ] The average speed of a piece
[ ] The grouping of equal rhythms
3. How many quavers are in a 6/8 time signature?
[ ] 3
[ ] 4
[ ] 6
[ ] 8
4. How many beats are in a 12/8 time signature?
[ ] 8 crotchet beats per bar
[ ] 8 quaver beats per bar
[ ] 12 crotchet beats per bar
[ ] 12 quaver beats per bar
5. How many beats are in a 3/4 time signature?
[ ] 3 quaver beats
[ ] 3 crotchet beats
[ ] 4 minim beats
[ ] 4 crotchet beats
6. What does a key signature illustrate?
[ ] How many chord changes occur in the music
[ ] The central melodic themes of the music being played
[ ] The number of piano keys used to play the piece
[ ] Which and how many sharps/flats are used in the music
7. How many sharps or flats are in the key of G major?
[ ] None
[ ] 1 sharp (F sharp)
[ ] 2 flats (B and E flat)
[ ] 3 sharps (F, C and G sharp)
8. How many flats are in the key of B flat major?
[ ] 1 (B flat)
[ ] 2 (B and E flat)
[ ] 3 (B, E and A flat)
[ ] 4 (B, E, A and D flat)
9. How many sharps or flats are in the key of C major?
[ ] None
[ ] 1 flat (B flat)
[ ] 1 sharp and 1 flat (F sharp and B flat)
[ ] 2 sharps (F and C sharp)
10. What major key signature has three sharps?
[ ] A major
[ ] D major
[ ] E major
[ ] F major
KS3 Music Quiz - Time and Key Signatures 01 (Answers)
1. What is a time signature?
[ ] A set time limit for the performance
[ ] A signed calendar date printed on the score
[x] A way of showing how many beats a bar is made up of
[ ] The average time a piece of music takes to play
It also tells us which kind of notes are equal to each beat
2. What is 'common time'?
[ ] A method of describing a repeated rhythm
[x] An alternative way of writing the 4/4 time signature
[ ] The average speed of a piece
[ ] The grouping of equal rhythms
A large 'C' is used to indicate common time on scores
3. How many quavers are in a 6/8 time signature?
[ ] 3
[ ] 4
[x] 6
[ ] 8
The 8 represents a quaver, the 6 defines the quantity
4. How many beats are in a 12/8 time signature?
[ ] 8 crotchet beats per bar
[ ] 8 quaver beats per bar
[ ] 12 crotchet beats per bar
[x] 12 quaver beats per bar
The 8 represents a quaver, the 12 defines the quantity
5. How many beats are in a 3/4 time signature?
[ ] 3 quaver beats
[x] 3 crotchet beats
[ ] 4 minim beats
[ ] 4 crotchet beats
This time signature is in all 'waltz' and 'minuet' dances
6. What does a key signature illustrate?
[ ] How many chord changes occur in the music
[ ] The central melodic themes of the music being played
[ ] The number of piano keys used to play the piece
[x] Which and how many sharps/flats are used in the music
If there are no sharps or flats then the piece is in the key of C or A minor
7. How many sharps or flats are in the key of G major?
[ ] None
[x] 1 sharp (F sharp)
[ ] 2 flats (B and E flat)
[ ] 3 sharps (F, C and G sharp)
One way to remember is this: 'Fat Cats Good Dogs All Eat Biscuits' - One sharp = F in the key of G, 2 sharps = F and C in the key of D, 3 sharps = F, C and G in the key of A etc...
8. How many flats are in the key of B flat major?
[ ] 1 (B flat)
[x] 2 (B and E flat)
[ ] 3 (B, E and A flat)
[ ] 4 (B, E, A and D flat)
G minor uses the same notes
9. How many sharps or flats are in the key of C major?
[x] None
[ ] 1 flat (B flat)
[ ] 1 sharp and 1 flat (F sharp and B flat)
[ ] 2 sharps (F and C sharp)
Sharps and flats are never used in the same signature
10. What major key signature has three sharps?
[x] A major
[ ] D major
[ ] E major
[ ] F major
Remember the mnemonic: 'Fat Cats Good Dogs All Eat Biscuits' - One sharp = F in the key of G, 2 sharps = F, C in the key of D, 3 sharps = F, C, G in the key of A, 4 sharps = F, C, G, D in the key of E etc...