Here’s part two of the learning to read music lesson on meter
A time signature placed at the beginning of a piece indicates its meter.. Unless we get other information, this meter is in effect for the duration of the piece. The time signature actually tells us three things: the meter, the unit of measure for each pulse, and whether we are in simple time or compound time. A time signature has an upper and lower number. In simple time signatures, the upper number relates directly to the meter: it is either a two, three, or four. The lower number tells us what note value receives the pulse or beat. The first time signature below, two-four, tells us that each measure will have two beats in a strong-weak pattern, and the quarter-note gets the beat. Three-two tells us that the piece is in a triple meter, strong-weak-weak pattern where the half-note gets the beat. And finally four-eight has four beats per measure with an eighth-note pulse.