Rest Length

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


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

mouse Hover over the equation to see the solution.

1 1 2 3 4

Much like notes, some more advanced rests will appear in music within the first year of beginning band, choir, or orchestra. Students will learn dotted half notes and eighth notes. The dotted half rest receives 3 beats, while the eighth rest receives 1/2 of a beat. A more advanced rest is the dotted quarter rest, which receives 1 ½ beats. Each of these rests is the same length as its corresponding note.


A dot after a rest adds half the value of that rest.  For example, a dotted half rest will receive 3 beats.  That is because a half rest receives 2 beats, half of 2 is 1, and 2 plus 1 is 3.  While the dotted half rest is an option, it is more common to see a half rest followed by a quarter rest.