Note Length & Time Signatures.

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So I’m sure you’ve seen some music written down somewhere in your life before- but just as a good starting point, I’ll start at the beginning! Buckle up, this one is a bit of a long one!

Each note represents not only which key to press, but for how long. Of course, these notes all have different names and all look a little bit different. The most commonly used note is probably the crotchet- representing just one beat (shown below).

Moving on from this, we also use the quaver a lot too (also shown below). This is worth half a beat; so, two quavers equates to one crotchet.

Alternatively, you could use a minim. This represents a note being played for two beats or the same length of time as two crotchets. (see below)

The final type of note I think I’ll post is the semi-breve. In our most commonly used time signature of 4/4, the semi-breve takes an entire bar and is worth 4 beats- or, yes you guessed it, four crotchet beats.


Time signatures  are very important in music and are generally shown at the beginning of all pieces of music- indicating how many beats are in each bar. At this point, I’d like to introduce you to the most simple and commonly used 4/4 time signature! It is almost ALWAYS used in popular music as it is the easiest. All of this shorthand may be a little alienating at first, but it really does start to click when you’ve seen these notes lots of times as you practice playing- I promise, it does get easier!

As ever, please post any comments or questions you might have after reading this short posting, I’d only be happy to help!