Page 18 - notes

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13
Bandwa gon Mu s i c S t ud i o s
RHYTHM IN MUSIC
In music different shapes of notes are used to
show different lengths of time.
Each shape has one thing in common - they all
mean to make a sound. So you have to pick each
time you see a note.
Then each different shape will ring for a different
length of time though. Some will ring for a long
time while others will ring for a short time.
The different parts that can be used to make the
shape of a note are the –

  
There are two rules of music that will make it
easier to understand rhythm.
The first rule is that the different lengths are
relative to each other. The lengths or values will
either divide or multiply by two.
As the notes get shorter they do so by dividing
by two. As the notes get longer they do so by
multiplying by two.
This is why the notes have the names whole, half
and quarter. The half note is half as long as the
whole note, the quarter note is half as long as the
half note (the quarter note would therefore be a
quarter as long as the whole note).
So however long you let the quarter note ring
for the eighth note will ring twice as short,
and the half note will ring twice as long.
The quarter note is the “foundation value” in
rhythm. This is because it is in the middle of
the values. You only have to make two steps
to get to the longest values and two steps to
get to the shorter values. If the whole note
was the foundation you have to make 4 steps
to get to the 16ths – too many steps and too
hard to calculate
Head
- the round part which can be left uncoloured or coloured.
(Can also be a “slash” shape which is used for guitar rhythms. Our examples will use
a mixture of normal head and slash head shapes.)
Stem
- the stick part.
Tail
- the squiqqly bit that can go on the end of stems.
Beam
- tails can be joined to form a beam.
It doesn’t matter whether the stem is facing up or down - the note still has the same value.
Quite often it is just a matter of what looks good.
Stem
Head
Tail
Beam