Hobbies Playing Music Why Is 4/4 Time Written with a C-Shaped Symbol? Share PINTEREST Email Print Common time is signified by 4/4 or its c-shaped semicircle. The symbol for "cut common time" resembles a cent sign. Brandy Kraemer Playing Music Playing Piano Tutorials Piano Chords Buying Advice Music Education Playing Guitar Home Recording By Brandy Kraemer Updated May 24, 2019 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.