3. Time Value of Music Notes
Grade 1. lesson 3 Time Value of Music Notes
How much value do we give to each kind of music note?
The different note shapesindicate different time values,
telling the musician how long to hold the sound of the note, in other words
how many beats does each kind of note have.
1 beat Value Note
The Crotchet (quarter note) is a 1 beat note
I can hear you saying, 'How long does 1 beat last?'
Well that depends on how slow or fast you want to play the music.
Let's look at it this way.
Think of the ticking of a clock, if you give one beat for each second in time, you
would play 60 crotchet (quarter notes) per minute.
This of course would be very slow, (however, it is possible to find music
written at a very slow pace.)
To help understand the difference in note values, we will stick with the
crotchet (quarter note) beat being worth 1 second of time.
We will look at the time values of the five popular notes used in music and
work with these. Other notes will be introduced when required.
So far we have looked at the crotchet (quarter note),we now know the note
value of a crotchet (quarter note) is 1. Beat
2 Beat Valued Note
The minim (half note)which is twice the length
of the crotchet (quarter note) will require 2 seconds of time to cover its beat value.
Music Theory Lessons Grade One
containing 18 detailed Lessons
This book contains all the information for Time value of Music Notes
required for grade one examination, set in lesson 3 of this
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4 Beat Valued Note
Staying with the 1 second per beat, we will need
to use 4 seconds on our clock to cover the value of the semibreve (whole note).
Now we will look at notes of less value than the crotchet (quarter note).
1/2 Beat Valued Note
These quaver (eighth notes) are only worth half the
value of the crotchet (quarter note), you would need to play two of these notes to
equal the value of 1 second of time.
1/4 Beat Valued Note
And finally we have the semiquaver (sixteenth note)
you would need to play 4 of these notes to equal the value of 1 second of time.
Pyramid of Music Notes
The pyramid of notes above clearly shows how many of each kind are needed to make
the value of the Semibreve (Whole Note).
Also notice the stem of the note can be drawn either Up or Down.
(more about note stems later).
Are you wondering where is a three beat note?
Notes with 3 beats will be explained when we introduce 'Dotted Notes'.