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M U S I C A L B R A I N . R h y t h m .
50
Bandwa gon Mu s i c S t ud i o s
An easy way to understand note lengths is to know
that the different lengths are relative to each
other. Each note doesn’t have a set length of time
to ring. 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 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 shortest 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.