Notes and rhythm
Lesson 2: Rhythm, dotted notes, ties, and rests
- [Instructor] When any of these notes are notated, they create a rhythm. The four quarter notes become a regular rhythm, while if we mix up different note values, we create a less regular rhythm. For example, if we listen to the opening of the Brahm's Academic Festival Overture, we see a variety of note values. In the first bar, there are eight eighth notes. Then, in bar two and three, there's a pattern of a quarter note, two eighth notes, a quarter note, and two eighth notes. In the fourth bar, again we have eight eighth notes. In the fifth bar, we have a quarter, two eighths, and two quarters. And in the sixth bar, we have two half notes. ("Academic Festival Overture" by Johannes Brahms) Sometimes, we see a dot after a note. Here we have a dot after a half note. Any dot like this adds half the value of the note it follows. In 4/4, a half note gets two beats, as we have learned. If we add a dot to that half note, it will have three beats. There is a second way that this can be notated. This is by adding a quarter note to the half note and putting a tie above or below it. A half note with a dot is the same as a half note tied to a quarter note. If we look at the middle of the last movement of the Beethoven Fifth Symphony, we see a dotted half note followed by a quarter note in the first bar, and four quarter notes in the second measure. This pattern repeats numerous times. It is played three times by the oboes, clarinets, and bassoons, leading to a version played loud, forte, by the full orchestra. ("Symphony No. 5" by Ludwig van Beethoven) If we now look at a quarter note with a dot, of course, we've now learned that the dot is worth half the value of a quarter note, which is an eighth note. It could also be notated as a quarter note tied to an eighth note. If we look and listen to the last movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony, we see a half note followed by two quarter notes in bar one, a dotted quarter followed by an eighth, and then a half note to complete bar two, a half, a quarter, and two eighths in bar three, and then a dotted half and a quarter in bar four to complete the beginning of this melody. ("Symphony No. 9" by Antonin Dvorak) Now let's look at the beginning of the last movement of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony to see some sixteenth notes. ("Symphony No. 4" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) Bar one is a half note followed by a dotted quarter note and an eighth note, and then the second bar is all sixteenth notes. In the third bar, three beats of sixteenth notes and then two eighth notes. In the fourth bar, we have some silence. We notate these silences with what we call rests. Each note value has a corresponding notation for a rest. A whole-note rest is a rectangular block that sits below a line. A half-note rest is a rectangular block that sits on top of a line. This is what a quarter-note rest looks like. Now an eighth rest has a single flag on the stem, a sixteenth note has two flags, and a 1/32th note has three flags on the stem. Dots following a rest are also the same as dots following notes, half of the value of the note.