Lesson 5: Note Lengths - Semibreve, tied notes and dotted notes

Like Lesson 3, this lesson comes in an international version (this one) or North American English version.

Some reminders of the note lengths you already know:

Semibreve

A semibreve (or, in American English: whole note) is worth 4 beats.

So

1 semibreve = 2 minims = 4 crotchets = 8 quavers

(Whole note = 2 half notes =4 quarter notes = 8 eighth notes)

A semibreve (whole note) is the longest note you'll commonly see.

Tied Notes

When longer notes are needed, several notes can be tied together to the required amount using a small curved line called a tie.

So this note is sung for 3 beats

MinimCrotchetTie

How long is this note held for?

Dotted Notes

Adding a dot after a note means that it is worth half as much again.

So either of these is sung for 3 beats.

And either of these is sung for one and a half beats.

One and a half beats seems hards to judge - but just keep counting "one and, two and, three and, four and" and remember that each of those words is half a beat.

The examples below have a repeat sign which indicates that each example will be played twice.

Repeat sign

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If you are ever writing dotted notes, don't write the dot on a line. If the note is on a line, the dot for that note should be in the space above.

dotted note position

Sight-Reading

It must be time for some more sight reading. Remember you have to get the timing right in this game to be considered correct.

 

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Just for fun, this video teaches you how to do the cup song.