Reading Music Lesson #36: The 3/4 Time Signature

reading music lessonHave you noticed how the time signature organizes the notes and rests?

According to the top number, only a certain number of beats can exist in each measure.

There cannot be any more or any less.

So now you hopefully understand why an entire piece of music is divided into smaller sections called “measures” that contain the same amount of beats.

What are we measuring between the bar lines?  The total number of beats represented by notes and rests.

3/4 Time Signature

The 3/4 time signature uses all of the same principles discussed in the 4/4 time signature lesson. [Read more...]

Reading Music Lesson #35: The 4/4 Time Signature

Reading Music LessonIn the last lesson, we introduced the time signature and what each number means.

This time, we’re going to look specifically at the 4/4 time signature and put it into action.

4/4 Time

If you scroll down and look at the example below, you can see there are four beats in each measure.

This meets the guidelines we talked about earlier when the top number of the time signature is “4″.

The bottom number (also 4) represents a quarter note.  This tells us that every quarter note (or quarter rest) will receive one beat. [Read more...]

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...]