What is cut time? What does a cut time look like and how do you count cut time when playing the piano? The cut time signature looks like 2/2 or a “C” with a vertical slash (see the picture below). Cut time is also known as “alla breve.”

Cut common time, common time is 4/4 time signature cut in half to 2/2 time signature.  It is cut to manipulate the tempo and rhythm when you play for sing a song. When using cut time 2/2, the two at the top means you count to two in each measure. The two on the bottom means a half note receives one count or beat, which means a quarter note gets ½ beat and an eight note receives ¼ beat. The rhythm of 2/2 time is similar to a “march” and the tempo is faster.

The purpose of cut time is to reduce the use of eighth and sixteenth notes in music. It’s to help musicians read the music faster. Cut time signature makes music notation simpler. It makes music easier to count and play through quicker than 4/4 time signature. If you come across music with lots of fast notes, look online to see if there is a 2/2 time signature version of the song.


The first time I sang in the church choi, 200 people changed their religion. By Fred Allen