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NOTES AND NAMES

SUMMARY

1) Rhythm is a mixture of sounds and silences referred to as “notes” and “rests”.

2) Each note and rest has a value, denoting how long it should be held for.

3) How long a note or rest lasts for is described in "beats".

NOTES AND RESTS

In music, we refer to the sounds we make as “notes” and the silences we leave as “rests”. We can combine notes and rests as much as we like, using a mixture of notes and rests to create a mixture of sounds and silence. We could also use exclusively one or the other, creating periods of sounds or periods of silence. Exploring different patterns of notes and rests is what makes different music interesting and dynamic!

NOTE AND REST TABLE

In order to create a common language for using rhythm, we use symbols as a way to represent notes and rests. In music, how long a note or rest lasts for is called "beats". The table below shows all the different notes, rests and their beats for this module:

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BEATS NOT SECONDS!

An important thing to note at this point is that we never talk about beats as seconds! Seconds are a constant defined length and speed, something that is unchanging across all (working!) clocks and watches. Musical beats can be played at any speed: fast, slow or anywhere in between.

WHY ARE THERE TWO NAMES?

You may have noticed that each note and rest has two names. For example, a one beat note is called both a Crotchet and a Quarter Note. The main reason for this is geography. If you're European you'll likely refer to notes by their given name: Crotchets, Minims and Semibreves. If you're American, you'll likely refer to them by a fractional name: Quarter Note, Half Note and Whole Note. Both are useful to know so try to remember them if you can!

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NOTES AND NAMES

NOTES AND NAMES

NOTES AND NAMES

WHAT IS RHYTHM?