The shape of a Note

In typical notation, a single musical sound is created as a note. The two most essential things a written piece of music needs to phone call you around a note are its pitch - just how high or low it is - and also its expression - how long it lasts.

You are watching: What does duration mean in music

To discover out the key of a written note, you look in ~ the clef and the vital signature, then view what line or room the keep in mind is on. The greater a keep in mind sits ~ above the staff, the greater it sounds. To discover out the expression of the written note, girlfriend look at the tempo and the time signature and also then view what the keep in mind looks like.

The components of a Note

*
Figure (PageIndex1): : all of the components of a composed note affect how long it lasts.

The key of the note depends just on what line or room the head of the note is on. (Please view pitch , clef and vital signature for much more information.) If the note does not have actually a head (see figure 2), that means that the does not have actually one definite pitch.

Notes without Heads

*
api/deki/files/487/notes2.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=400&height=102" />Figure (PageIndex3):

The simplest-looking note, v no stems or flags, is a entirety note. All other keep in mind lengths are identified by just how long they last contrasted to a totality note. A keep in mind that lasts fifty percent as lengthy as a totality note is a half note. A note that large a 4 minutes 1 as long as a entirety note is a quarter note. The pattern proceeds with eighth notes, 16 notes, thirty-second notes, sixty-fourth notes, and so on, each kind of keep in mind being fifty percent the size of the ahead type. (There room no such point as third notes, 6th notes, tenth notes, etc.; check out Dots, Ties, and also Borrowed departments to uncover out just how notes of unusual lengths space written.)

*
Figure (PageIndex4): : note lengths work similar to fractions in arithmetic: two half notes or four quarter notes critical the same amount that time together one whole note. Flags are regularly replaced through beams that connect the notes into easy-to-read groups.

You may have noticed that some of the eighth notes in number 4 don"t have actually flags; rather they have a beam connecting castle to one more eighth note. If flagged note are alongside each other, their flags deserve to be changed by beams that affix the notes right into easy-to-read groups. The beams may affix notes that room all in the very same beat, or, in some vocal music, lock may connect notes that space sung top top the very same text syllable. Each keep in mind will have the same number of beams as it would have actually flags.

See more: Who Is Steve Randle In The Outsiders Book Summary & Study Guide

Notes v Beams

*
api/deki/files/490/notes5.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=230&height=195" />Figure (PageIndex6):

Exercise 1:

Draw the absent notes and fill in the blanks to make each side the very same duration (length that time).

*
Figure (PageIndex7):