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Concepts in Music Appreciation 1
- The length of time that a note is played is called its note duration, which is determined by the type of note.
- The whole note has the longest note duration in modern music.
- The half note has half the duration of a whole note.
- Two half notes occupy the same amount of time as one whole note.
- The quarter note is a fourth (or a quarter) of a whole note.
- Four quarter notes occupy the same amount of time as one whole note. Two quarter notes equal the duration of a half note.
- Notes smaller in duration than a quarter note have flags. Each flag halves the value of a note.
- An eight note has one flag.
- Therefore, two eight notes occupy the same amount of time as one quarter note.
- A sixteenth note has two flags, having the value again.
- Two sixteenth notes equal the duration of an eight note.
- Four sixteenth notes occupy the same amount of time as one quarter note.
- Although its possible to have notes with three or more flags, they are seldom used.
- Rests represent periods of silence in a measure.
- Each type of rest shares a duration with a certain type of note
- For example, both a quarter rest and a quarter note occupy the same amount of time.
- While the note would make a sound, the rest is silent
- To demonstrate this, let’s fill a measure of 4/4 time with quarter notes.
- When played, all four notes sound.
- A whole rest occupies the same amount of time as a whole note.
- It is drawn as a box descending from the fourth staff line.
- A half rest occupies the same amount of time as a half note.
- It is drawn as a box ascending form the middle staff line.
- Like notes, rests can have flags.
- With one flag, an eight rest has the same duration as an eight note.
- With two flags, a sixteenth rest has the same duration as a sixteenth note.
The Staff, Cleff and Ledger Lines
- The staff is the foundation upon which notes are drawn
- The modern staff comprises five lines and four spaces
- Evert line or space on the staff represents a white key on the keyboard.
- Clefs assign individual notes to certain lines or spaces
- Two clefs are normally used: the Treble and Bass clefs
- First, we will discuss the Treble Clef (also called the G Clef)
- The staff line which the clef wraps around (shown in red) is known as G. Any note placed on this Ledger Lines will solve the dilemma.
- A ledger line is a small line that extends the staff when we run out of room.
- With the ledger line drawn, we can place the A.
- Next, let’s discuss the Bass Clef (also called the F Clef)
- The staff line in between the two dots of the clef is F.
- We can now fill the rest of the staff with notes.
- Finally, we will discuss the Grand Staff, a theoretical staff consisting of eleven lines.
Steps and Accidentals
- A half step (or “semitone”) is the distance from one key on the keyboard to the next adjacent key.
- A whole step (or “white stone” or simply “tone”) is the same distance as two half steps.
- Key 1 to Key 3 is a whole step.
- An accidental is a sign used to raise or lower the pitch of a note.
- The first accidentals that we will discuss are the flat and the sharp.
- The flat lowers a note by a half step while the sharp raises a note by a half step.
- Whenever a certain pitch has multiple names, it is called an enharmonic spelling.
- An interval measures the distance between two notes.
- We will first discuss generic intervals, which are measured on the staff.
When two notes occupy the same line or space, they are first (or a prime) apart
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