Note Length

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Each note in music is allotted a certain amount of time.  This time is measured in beats.  A whole note gets 4 beats, a half note gets 2 beats, and a quarter note gets 1 beat.

 

notes



Try to solve the simple math equations below by using a note as the answer.

mouse Hover over the equation to see the solution.

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Within the first year of beginning band, choir, or orchestra, students will learn dotted half notes and eighth notes. The dotted half note receives 3 beats, while the eighth note receives 1/2 of a beat. Eighth notes can be notated either as a singular note, or grouped in to pairs.  It is very common to see eighth notes grouped together. A more advanced note is the dotted quarter note, which receives 1 ½ beats. 

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eighth



A dot after a note adds half the value of that note.  For example, a dotted half note will receive 3 beats.  That is because a half note receives 2 beats, half of 2 is 1, and 2 plus 1 is 3. For the dotted quarter note, a quarter note gets 1 beat, and ½ of 1 is ½.  When you add 1 plus ½, you get 1 ½ beats total. 

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dot



Try to solve the simple math equations below by using a note as the answer.

mouse Hover over the equation to see the solution.

2

 

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