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Details on Lengths and Rests

Welcome to Lesson #10. Only six more lessons to go and you're done! Whew, you came a long way. This lesson is a continuum of Lesson #2 and Lesson #3. If you have not yet gone through those lessons, please review them before you complete this lesson.

In this lesson, you'll learn about double dotted notes. Once you have done that, you'll learn all about rests. Let's start off right away. Look at the following music. There are two double dotted notes. Think of double dotted notes as prolonged notes - even more prolonged than dotted notes. Look at the double dotted quarter note. It's like a quarter note + an eighth note + a sixteenth note all rolled into one note. Look at the double dotted half note. This is like a half note + a quarter note + an eighth note. Do you see how it works? Think of double dotted notes as adding half the original length and a quarter of the original length.

You probably won't see very many double dotted notes in music. Generally, the composer uses slurs (look at lesson #3) or dotted notes plus slurs (again, look at lesson #3). However, it is safe to learn about double dotted notes, just in case you come across it in the future.

What exactly are rests? Well, if you look closely at the word "rest", you can get a pretty good idea of what it is. Quite simply, rests are places in the music where you don't play. This rest might be brief, or very long - that is, several measures long. Isn't music always continuous? Not really. Composers may want a certain note to stand out or have a solo in which perhaps an oboe plays and other instruments don't play. Here are the different types of rests. Note their lengths: think of each as their note-counterparts. For example, think of a quarter rest as a silent quarter note or an eighth rest as a silent eighth note.


Please look closely at the whole rest and the half rest. They look similar, don't they? Just distinguish between them so you don't confuse them. A measure with a half rest will probably have notes as well so this may ease the confusion.

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