Music Basics
The Science
The Stave & Clefs
The Notes
The Timing
The Bars


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The Timing

Notes are played from left to right across the stave. As we have seen the vertical position of the note tells us which note to play, the 'shape' of the note (its stem and number of tails) shows us how long to play it for.

The longest note is the semibreve all the other notes are smaller divisions of time of this note (a semibreve is twice as long as a minim, a minim is twice as long as a crotchet and so on).

For example four crotchets are equal in time to one semibreve, that means a crotchet note is played for only one quarter the time a semibreve note is played. So four crotchets are played in the same time it takes to play one semibreve.

A note with a dot placed after it, is played for one and a half times its normal length, in other words the dot adds half of it's original 'time value' to the note.

Each note has its own 'rest' shape that has the same 'time value' but indicates no note (or a rest) is played at that point in the music.

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