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Why is 4/4 time written with a c-shaped symbol?

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Origin of the c-symbol for 4/4 common time.

Common time is signified by 4/4 or its c-shaped semicircle. The symbol for "cut common time" resembles a cent sign.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Question: Why is 4/4 time written with a c-shaped symbol?
Answer: You’ve probably seen a curious C symbol at the beginning of a your sheet music after the clef and key signature - this is simply another way of writing “common time,” a.k.a. the 4/4 time signature. But where did this symbol come from?

The c-shaped time signature does not actually stand for common time as some may believe:

More on Time Signatures & Tempo

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