Definition and background:
A symbol placed at the left side of the staff indicating the meter of the composition. For example, a time signature of 3/4 would indicate that there are three quarter notes in each measure and the quarter notes receive the main pulse (or beat). consists of two numbers at the beginning of a piece of music but can change throughout the piece. The top number tells you the number of counts in each measure; the bottom number tells you the type of note that receives one count.Time signatures define the meter of the music. Music is "marked off" in uniform sections called measures, and time signatures establish the number of beats in each. This is not necessarily intended to indicate which beats are emphasized, however. A time signature that conveys information about the way the piece actually sounds is thus chosen. Time signatures tend to suggest, but only suggest, prevailing groupings of beats or pulses.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary