All-Music-Sheets.com - Classical sheet music online store. Classical sheet music downloads.

How to read musical notes: Basic Counting

Valentine Sheet Music to download instantly

<< Time Signatures : : Back to list : : Tempo and Volume >>

One of the most obvious questions is how musicians know when to play. Well, its easy.. they learn to count the beats.
As you also know: 1 whole note = 2 half notes = 4 quarter notes = 8 eighth notes = 16 sixteenth notes. Keep that in mind while looking at these examples:

Example 1

This musical fragment is written in Treble Clef.
The Time Signature is 4/4. It means -  4 quarter notes per measure.

In the first measure the whole note gets all the beats (1, 2, 3 and 4) because 1 whole note = 4 quarter notes, and there are a total of 4 quarter notes per measure.
In the second measure, each half note gets 2 beats because 2 quarter notes = 1 half note.
In the third measure, each quarter note gets its own beat because there are 4 quarter notes per measure.

Example 2

In this example the "+" sign means "and". If you said 1 + 2 + ... out loud it would sound like this: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and

Each eight note is 1/2 of a quarter note, therefore it takes 2 eighth notes to equal 1 quarter note.
Think of it like this: the 1 and the "and" are both half of one quarter note and together they form 1 quarter note.

Example 3

The quarter note is obviously beat 1 because from the time signature you know there are 4 quarter notes per measure.
One half note = 2 quarter notes therefore the half note must be beats 2 and 3.
Finally, two eighth notes = 1 quarter note so they must be the "4 +".

Example 4

The quarter note is obviously beat 1.
The quarter rest gets beat 2. Two eighth notes take beat 3 because 1 quarter note = 2 eighth notes and so on.
Think of the rests in terms of their corresponding notes and you'll have no problem!

Example 5

The Time Signature is 6/8. It means -  6 eighth notes per measure.

In this example you are counting the 8th notes (1 eighth note gets 1 beat)!
In the first measure, each eighth note gets its own beat. One quarter note = 2 eighth notes therefore the quarter note must be beats 5 and 6.
In the second measure, four sixteenth notes
get 1 and 2 beats because 1 eighth note = 2 sixteenth notes. Eighth rest gets 3 beat and so on. 

Valentine Sheet Music to download instantly

<< Time Signatures : : Back to list : : Tempo and Volume >>

Copyright © 2007-2017 Classical sheet music downloads. Classical sheet music store.