Attack and Decay

Attack is the extent to which the note is hit. Rhythm is communicated through attack. Once hit, how long is the note allowed to sound? Decay is the time within the full duration of the note that the sound is made. You can program a computer to attack and decay, but how good is the … Read more

Big Mistakes

Is this correct time? No. Play the music and clap your hands. Do you naturally clap your hands in-line with the beam? No. Therefore the time signature is wrong. You clap your hands in multiples of three. In compound time you could transcribe the melody to 12 – 8 where the weight is on each … Read more

Uneven Time

In uneven time Uneven time signatures are common in traditional Greek and Turkish dances and in modern jazz. Both simple and compound beats 5 – 8 Uneven time2 beats to the bar, one simple and one compound. 7 – 8 Uneven time3 beats to the bar, 2 simple and one compound. 9 – 8 Uneven … Read more

Compound Time

In compound time Time Signature In all frequently used compound time signatures the bottom number is 8. Three 8th notes (quavers) make a beat. Divide the top number by 3 for the number of beats to the bar. In 6 – 8 time there are six eighth notes to the bar, two compound beats to … Read more

Simple Time

  In simple time Time Signature The bottom number tells you the value of the beat. The top number tells you the number of “beats to the bar”. In 3 – 4 time there are 3 crotchet (quarter note) beats to the bar. When the bottom number is 4 the beat is a quarter note, … Read more

Sound and Silence in Music

A time for sound and silence Time is measured in sound and silence, sound in notes and silence in rests. Name Value Note Rest Semibrevewhole note 4 crotchets Minimhalf note 2 crotchets Crotchetquarter note 1 crotchet Quavereighth note 1/2 of a crotchet Semiquaversixteenth note 1/4 of a crotchet Demisemiquaverthirty-second note 1/8 of a crotchet Hemidemisemiquaversixty-fourth … Read more