1.2 Notes, rests and accidentals
|Category: Elementary music theory | Tags: Notes, rests and accidentals|
In music, a note (Latin: nota) is a symbol denoting a musical sound. In English usage a note is also the sound itself. A note is a sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound.
In this chapter, you'll learn about the duration of the quarter note, half note, whole note, and eighth note. You'll also learn what rests are and there duration. After that, you'll learn about accidentals, such as sharps, flats, and the natural sign.
In musical notation, you can write down the duration of a note, the note value. This allows you to notate rhythms, the alternation of short and long notes. The length of a note is expressed in the number of beats a note lasts. There are notes of 1 beat, of 2 beats and 4 beats but also of a half beat or a quarter beat. The note values are always twice as long or twice as short in relation to each other.
How are multiple eighth notes notated?
In Chapter 1.5 Articulation you learn more about the use of ties and slurs.
Rests are signs used to indicate silences. You don't play then, but you have to continue counting. Rests, like note values, have a certain duration. Like notes, there are rests of 1 beat, 2 beats, 4 beats and so on.
The duration of notes and rests are expressed in beats and not seconds. You say: a note lasts 1 beat and not a note lasts 1 second. Of course, a note of 1 beat can last a second, but also 2 seconds or 1.5 seconds or 0.8 seconds. It depends on how fast you play, on the tempo. You learn more about tempo in Chapter 1.7 Tempo.
3. Sharps and flats
This chapter provides an overview of the main theory from Note Reading chapter 6. Accidentals, where you learn about sharps and flats.
Theory and practise
Learn more about sharps and flats and practise their names in Note Reading chapter 6. Accidentals.
The different accidentals.