Lesson 2

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In music some notes last longer then others. We will measure how much they last in beats. So we will say a note last 1 beat,2 beat, etc, and we use subdivisions like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 etc, also. Now let us look at some notations:
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A whole note or semibreve is a note represented by a hollow oval note head. Its length is typically equal to four beats in 4/4 time. Most other notes divide the whole note;
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A half note or minim is a note played for half the duration of a whole note and twice the duration of a quarter note. In time signatures with a denominator of 4, such as 4/4 or 3/4 time, the half note is two beats long.
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A quarter note or crotchet is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note (or semibreve). Quarter notes are notated with a filled-in oval note head and a straight, flagless stem. The stem usually points upwards if it is below the middle line of the stave or downwards if it is on or above the middle line.
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An eighth note or a quaver is a musical note played for one eighth the duration of a whole note, hence the name.
Eighth notes are notated with an oval, filled-in note head and a straight note stem with one flag.
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Beams connect and emphasize quavers, for shorter note values we use several lines. For example for semiquavers we use two line and so on. A beam can connect several notes.
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A dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. The dot adds a half as much again to the basic note's duration. If the basic note lasts 2 beats, the corresponding dotted note lasts 3 beats.

More on music notation at Modern musical symbols
To be continue ...

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