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All music has a regular beat which can be played at any speed.
Different types of notes last for different numbers of beats.
A quarter-note' or 'crotchet' lasts for 1 beat and looks like this:
so five quarter-notes in a row will look like this :
A 'half-note' or 'minim' lasts for 2 beats and looks like this:
so four half-notes will look like this :
Click on the play button to hear the half-notes played on the saxophone, together with a background tick for
the beats (there are 4 beats introduction before the saxophone starts).
Finally, a whole-note, or semibreve lasts for 4 beats and looks like this:
so four whole-notes in a row will look like this :
Click on the play button to hear the 4 whole-notes played once again on the saxophone,
together with a background tick for the beats (again, there are 4 beats introduction before the saxophone starts).
Bars lines divide the music into groups of equal beats. The music written between one bar-line and the next is
known as a bar of music.
The first type of bar we will see is 4/4, written :
which means there are 4 quarter-note beats in each bar.
Below is an example of two bars written in 4/4 time. The first bar contains 4 quarter-notes, each
lasting for one beat. The second bar contains a whole-notes which lasts for 4 beats, and so, occupies the entire bar.
A double bar-line signifies the end of a piece.