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Lesson 1: Note values, duration, and time signatures

Video transcript

a note represents the pitch and duration of a musical sound let's begin with duration or note value here are five note values a whole note which is a circle a half note which is a circle with a stem so two half notes equal one whole note the quarter note is like a half note but it's filled in two of these equal a half note four of these equal a whole note an eighth note is like a quarter note plus a flag two of these equal a quarter note four equal a half note and a equal a whole note a sixteenth note is like an eighth note but with an extra flag the pattern is the same two sixteenths equal one-eighth four sixteenths equal one quarter and so on these flags can also be connected and the stems can go up or down without any change to the duration or length now let's look at how these notes specifically apply to music we first begin with a time signature the one that I'm choosing is 4/4 the top number indicates how many regular pulses or beats are in each measure or bar the lower number tells us what kind of note is equal to one beat therefore if we write four quarter notes in four-four the bar is over and we add a bar line if we do the same thing a second time we have created two bars or two measures the word measure and bar are used interchangeably let's use our five note values in four-four the whole note gets four beats if we find a whole note in music with a time signature of 4/4 we would play or sing a single note and it would last the whole bar a half note would get half of the whole or two beats let's listen to the beginning of Dvorak new world symphonies slow movement this brass chorale has three measures or three bars of half notes and then one measure of a whole note you