Note Values

In order to read a music piece, we need to know the note values, and names of each note. The following section shows us the different values of notes, that is, how long each note lasts.

4 beats: called a semibreve (whole note)

3 beats: called a dotted minim (dotted half note)

2 beats: called a minim (half note)

1 beat: called a crotchet (quarter note)

Half a beat: called a quaver (eighth note)

 
Quarter of a beat: called a semiquaver (sixteenth note)

 

Did you get it? Now you're ready to read more notes.

 
Music is written on groups of five lines called staves.


 
Notes are written on lines:
 
 

 
or in spaces:
 

Keyboard music uses two staves.

One is for the top half of the instrument. The symbol at the beginning of the line is called the treble clef, sometimes called the G clef. In piano music this calls for the use of right hand.

The other is for the bottom half of the instrument. The symbol at the beginning of the line is called the bass clef, sometimes called the F clef. Bass clef calls for the use of the left hand.

The two staves are joined by a bracket. Usually the notes on the upper stave are played with the right hand, and the notes on the lower stave are played with the left hand.

 

Yoke Wong recommends the following piano course:

Learn to Play Piano & Improvisation in 7 Days

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