pickup notes and measures

example of pickup notes and measure

An example in 4/5 time of an opening measure with pickup notes.

Once a meter has been set, the notes in each measure, or bar, must add up exactly to the number of beats it specifies. The exception to this rule is the first bar, which may contain fewer beats than the time signature specifies. When this happens, the first measure is called a pickup measure. The notes themselves are called pickup notes.