Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Note Values- When and for how long to play notes?

So actually we all are playing by listening already created music. We listen to music and play accordingly but what if we created some sort of music and we need to write that piece of music on the sheet. Yes of course the tablature can do this but the tablature will not tell others how fast and for how long to play the given notes. If they know the song then they can play but if they don't know the original song then they never can play on actual speed.
In order to actually perform a piece of music, it is also essential to arrange the notes in the context of time; that is, it is necessary to know when and for how long to play them.

Beats and Meter: Ordinary clock time is divided into various units of measure, of which the smallest is one second. Musical time is also divided into units of measure, of which the smallest is the beat- the underlying regular rhythm of a piece of music. Just as seconds are grouped into minutes, repetitive patterns of strong and weak beats form the meter, or overall rhythmic feeling, of a piece of music. The meter usually consists of groups of 2, 3, or 4 beats, with the first beat of each group being the strongest, and this pattern usually stays the same throughout a piece of music in order to provide a consistent backdrop for the melody and harmony. The most common time signature is four beats in a measure.

  • Quarter Note: Now if we play one note per beat then that is called "quarter note". So the next step is how to play the quarter note? It is so easy to play quarter note. Let's count 1, 2, 3, 4 (say it one, two, three, four this is one measure and you keep counting the same two times then those will be to measures) or you can practice on metronome. So to play quarter notes you need to play on every count means when you count 1 then play the note. Tip: Play Once per beat to play quarter notes.

  • Half Notes: So by applying the same concept if we play one note that lasts for two beats, these are known as "half notes". To play half notes you need to play on every second beat. If you are counting 1, 2, 3, 4 then if you strike the first note on the count of 1 then you will play the second note on the count of 3.

  • Whole Note: If we play one note which lasts for entire measure, those are called "whole notes". This means that you will play on the count of 1 in each measure.

  • Eighth Note: If we divide quarter note in half then we will get Eighth Notes. So you can play two eighth notes in place of one quarter note. We can count this as  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. So now we will play on the count of 1 as well as on &.

  • Sixteenth Note: If we divide eighth note in half then we will get "Sixteenth Notes". Now we have four sixteenth notes in the space of one quarter note or two sixteenth notes in the space of one eighth note. We can count these notes as 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a. Like the previous examples you need to play on every word which you are counting.

  • Eighth Note Triplets:- If we have three notes per beat these are known as eighth notes triplets. We can count these as 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a.

  • Sixteenth Note Triplets:- Six notes per beat are known as "sixteenth notes triplets.

  • Thirty Second Note: If we play eight  notes per beat then these are known as "thirty second notes". 

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