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Lesson 2: Rhythm, dotted notes, ties, and rests

Created by All Star Orchestra.

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  • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Kevin McDonald
    This might be a stupid question, but I'm a total beginner at music. Why are some of the bars longer than the others? For example, from forward.
    (111 votes)
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    • hopper happy style avatar for user ka19hele
      It's because sometimes there are less notes or more notes. Say, take the first two bars. The first one is shorter because there are less notes, as the second bar is longer because there are more notes. OR it's because in other sections, there are more notes so they need to make the bar the same length. Sorry if this doesn't make sense or is not right, I'm just trying to help!!
      (10 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user davidyip2001
    Why people will use Double-Dotted Note and Triple-Dotted Note for creating Music? Instead of just writing another note and put a slurred sign on the notes?
    (20 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Carli Freeman
      There are some times when a tie is preferred, for example when you're playing complex music and the note crosses a beat. The tie gives the reader a visual clue to know that the best falls in the middle of the note. (There are a whole lot of examples of this in Broadway sheet music, for sure.) Also, you have to use a tie when connecting notes between measures.nthe rest of the time, people mostly prefer dotted notes.
      (13 votes)
  • female robot grace style avatar for user Jenny Xue
    If there is something such as a 32nd note, is there a 64th note?
    (15 votes)
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    • female robot ada style avatar for user Katrina
      Those ridiculously short notes don't have much use outside of maybe Heavy Metal and Power Metal... and various other musical genres known for fast pace musical quantities (like rapping a version of Eminem's Rap God translated into Mandarin).

      Which are more inclined to be done up as Guitar Tabs, as oppose to scores. As much as Through The Fire and the Flames by Dragon Force at 8x speed WOULD sound awesome with an orchestra behind it.

      If we look at how various electronic musical stuff works--including dubstep--you'd still be using standard note lengths. Even if you are doing record scratches (which would likely be depicted with several tied quarter notes.. I'd guess)
      (8 votes)
  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Mustaghees Butt
    Do singers/music bands use this stuff for making music for their songs ?
    (11 votes)
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    • mr pants teal style avatar for user Chris Cooke
      I've known bands that don't use this stuff. They all play by ear, work out their parts on the fly, and memorize. But if you are going to share your music with folks you are not recording with, or if you have a lot of parts in your group, or the music is very long and/or complicated, you will probably use this stuff. Self-taught musicians may not know this stuff, but anyone with formal music training learns it.
      (26 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Naishalys888
    Does Music involve Math in it?
    (17 votes)
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    • area 52 green style avatar for user Kira Li
      Yes, you could say it does, for example the time signatures and rhythm can be seen as fractions. In theory or harmony there is a lot of logic and rules as well, however you wouldn't necessarily need to make calculations in music.
      (25 votes)
  • aqualine seedling style avatar for user sk868740
    ok, i'm a beginner at music and i really want to play the piano but i don't know how because i don't know how to read the notes. for example, what note goes to what key? can someone please tell me which video teaches me how to read the notes? thank you and please answer! someone...... :(
    (9 votes)
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    • old spice man green style avatar for user Josh (SpongeJr)
      Unfortunately, there isn't such a video on Khan Academy yet.

      However, I have learned the JavaScript programming language using Khan Academy, and I'm in the process of writing music-related programs that I hope Khan Academy learners might find useful. I don't have a program yet that teaches you or quizzes you on the piano keys, but I have a program that is a work-in-progress that has the notes on the keys labelled. You might find it useful.

      I hope the program doesn't confuse you-- it's about chords, and more advanced than just finding the notes. But for time being, it might help you learn where the notes are on the keyboard (as well as on the staff). Don't expect to get the answers correct just yet if you're just starting =)

      I am working on writing some programs for the more basic concepts. I will certainly try to find more time to work on them knowing that there might be interest. =)

      I can Google you up some helpful resources as well, but I always try to find resources "on campus" (on the Khan Academy site) first. (The search "notes of the piano" on Google Images turned up some great results)
      (5 votes)
  • marcimus pink style avatar for user Padma Gopalakrishnan
    this may be kind of stupid but im a beginner. why are some of the notes upside down?
    (8 votes)
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  • mr pants teal style avatar for user Yossi Hapanecha
    I am also a beginner at this. I've played guitar for about 2 years now, and I never really learned how to read music. Therefore, I am a little confused. In regards to the dot idea. Why can not someone simply put in the correct note instead having to halve the note with a dot?
    (6 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user swarupsamip
      Well first off their is no ONE symbol to show 3 beats or 1 and a half ect. , which can effect a concert or solo by not extending the note value as it was supposed to be. The dot is a way to extend a note value in a way, so that you don't have to read ties as much, the dot does NOT half a note value, but adds half of its own value. Example 2+ (2/2) =3 beats. To do half beats, quarter beats, etc their are other symbols. Hope that helps.
      (11 votes)
  • aqualine seed style avatar for user jaydine.d
    When will we get to the point when what sound does the notes make?
    And I'm just starting music so don't judge me please. But what sounds are we working with? Is it high or low?
    (9 votes)
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  • stelly blue style avatar for user Stella
    What is a movement as the person says at in music?
    (7 votes)
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Video transcript

- [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.