Theory Thursday | Part 2 | Note Lengths

Welcome back! Today in our newest series we are going to talk about note lengths.

Note Lengths

There are a wide range of note lengths that are used in music. We are only going to cover the most common of note lengths, the whole note to the sixteenth note.

Whole Note

The whole note, the one that looks like a weird O, is worth 4 beats.

5 whole notes on the bass clef

Half Note

You are going to notice a trend when it comes to note names, and their worth A half note is another note that is not filled in, like the whole note, but it has a tail. A half note is worth 2 beats, or, half of a whole note. Two half notes equals one whole note.

Two half notes on the bass clef, one whole note on the treble clef

Quarter Note

The quarter note is worth 1 beat. Two quarter notes equal one half note, four quarter notes equal 1 whole note. The quarter note looks like a filled in half note.

4 quarter notes on the treble clef, two half notes on the bass clef

Eighth Note

The second last note we will cover today is the eighth note. The eighth note is worth half a beat. Two eighth notes equal one quarter note. Four eighth notes equal one half note. Eight eighth notes equal one whole note. The eighth note looks like a quarter note, but with a tail.

Eighth notes on the treble clef.

Sixteenth Note

The final note we will cover today is the sixteenth note. If you’ve noticed the trend so far you can guess that a sixteenth note is worth a quarter of a beat. Two sixteenth notes equals one eighth note. Four sixteenth notes equal one quarter note. Eight sixteenth notes equal one half note. 16 sixteenth notes equal one whole note.

Summary

There are more note lengths we could go over, but they follow the exact same pattern as the notes above, once you know all the way up to the sixteenth note, you can basically figure out the rest. Thanks for reading part 2 of Theory Thursdays! Come back next week when we break down what time signatures are. If you like what we’re doing here at The Ottawa Sound, give us a like on Facebook, and if you can, please consider donating to our Patreon. Also if you have any questions about what we’ve covered so far in Theory Thursdays, please feel free to send us a message on Facebook or email us at theottawasound@gmail.com

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