What Is Note Value Or Note Duration Of Whole, Half, Eighth & Sixteenth Note

What is note value & note duration

How do musicians know how long one has to play the note displayed on the sheet music? Read more to understand what is note value?

What is note value?

The note value is the duration for which the musical note could be heard within a measure.

What is a whole note value?

The whole note has the longest duration in a measure.

For example, in a measure consisting four beats, the whole note can be heard for the entire duration of the measure.

A whole note can be divided into two half notes, four quarter notes, 8 eighth notes, and so on.

Example: Whole note value in a 4/4 time signature.

What is whole note value?

What is whole note value?In the above example, the time signature is 4/4. Therefore in a single measure there are four beats, each assigned a quarter note.

The whole note is equivalent to four quarter notes. As you can see, the note C on bass clef can be heard for entire measure while the quarter notes are played on each beat.

What is a half note value?

The half note has half the duration of the whole note.

For example, following series of two half notes would take two beats each in a measure of four beats.

A half note can be divided into two quarter note and four eighth note.

What is half note value?

What is a quarter note value?

The quarter note has one-fourth the duration of the whole note.

For example, following series of four quarter notes would take one beat each in a measure of four beats.

What is quarter note value?

Which symbols should we use for the musical notes shorter than the duration of a quarter note?

In such situations, we can attach the flag to the quarter note.

Each flag halves the value of the note.

Therefore, an eighth note shall always have a single flag attached at the end of the quarter note as shown in the illustration.

What is an eighth note value?

The eighth note is one eighth the duration of the whole note.

For example, two ‘eighth note’ would take the same time as a quarter note as shown in the illustration.

What is eighth note value?

What is the sixteenth note value?

An additional flag to the eighth note makes it a sixteenth note and eventually halves the value of the note. For example, two ‘sixteenth note’ would take the same time as an eighth note as shown in the illustration.

The musical notes with duration shorter than the sixteenth note are hardly used for writing music.

However, the fundamental rule of the note value remains the same.

A flag attached to the stem of the note halves the duration of the note.

Following note value chart displays the relationship between all the musical notes we have discussed in the lesson.

Let us understand the note value using a short example.

What is the sixteenth note value?

Note Value Chart

To summarize the article, here’s the chart for your quick reference.

Note Value Chart
Note Value Chart

Now the question is:
How do we introduce silence in the musical composition?

Thanks for reading my 76th article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for my next lesson.

100 Days Music Blogging Challenge Music Theory Lessons

Author: Bharat

Hi, I'm Bharat. An artist, blogger, musician and digital marketing professional dedicated to sharing musing and stories about music, art and mindful resonance! Follow me @bharatpc

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