Reading Music Lesson #33: Double Bar Lines

reading music lessonDouble bar lines are found at the end of a section of music or at the very end of a song.

Just as bar lines divide the music staff into smaller sections, double bar lines organize the music into larger sections.

NOTE: The correct terminology for this in music theory is simply “double bar.”  However, the rest of the world calls them “double bar lines.”

I think this is because it more accurately describes what you are looking at making it easier to remember.

End of Section

A double bar line telling us it is the end of a section or movement will have 2 thin lines like this:

double bar lines [Read more...]

Reading Music #31: Quarter Rests

reading music lessonQuarter rests are those crazy little squiggly-looking symbols that are worth 1 beat of silence.

quarter rests

They are the quiet counterpart to quarter notes.

In fact, do you remember the conversation we had in an earlier lesson about the importance of both sound and silence in music?

Well, let’s review it again now that you have learned a few notes and rests. [Read more...]

Reading Music Lesson #29: Whole Rests

reading music lessonMusic is created by using both sound and silence.

While it’s tempting to just focus on the notes (sound), the rests (silence) are music symbols we don’t want to ignore.

They are just as equally important and give us so much needed variety and contrast.

The first type of rest we will concentrate on is the whole rest.

Whole Rests

Whole rests are similar to whole notes with one difference: Instead of 4 beats of sound, we will have 4 beats of silence.

whole rests

This means that 4 steady beats of no sound going by (total silence) equals 1 whole rest. [Read more...]

Reading Music Lesson #25: Music Note Values

reading music lessonThe term “note value” is referring to how long or short a note sounds.

This all depends on what the note looks like.

Music Note Values

Instead of going into too much detail right now, It would be best to learn some common generalities based on the visual appearance of music notes.

There are some basic attributes that can give us a lot of important information.


Every music note has a notehead.  This is the oval shaped part of the note.

In general, if it is white in the center (not filled in), then it will be held a little longer.

notehead [Read more...]