In looking at just how to check out music we’ve talked about duration and also how rate is built upon knowing what note to play and also for how long; but what about knowing once not come play? it is crucial to have the ability to know as soon as not come play. Thankfully, this is pretty straightforward.

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Note Rests

In the same means that there is a symbol for every note length there are corresponding symbols that show when not to play something. These are referred to as rests. Every easily accessible note duration (whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, etc..) has a equivalent rest duration:

Whole Rest

A whole remainder (or semibreve rest) large the exact same duration together a totality note or a semibreve – 4 beats. The symbol because that a whole rest is tiny black rectangle hanging ~ above the fourth line increase of the stave:

have actually a look/listen to this instance of totality rests (I have actually recorded 4 clicks before the example begins so you can gain a sense of the beat):

Whole remainder Example
You deserve to hear exactly how the keep in mind in the first bar is played for 4 beats and then there is a remainder for 4 win in the 2nd bar.

Half Rest

A half remainder (or minim rest) lasts the exact same duration as a fifty percent note or a minim – 2 beats. The symbol for a half rest is tiny black rectangle sitting on the 3rd line up of the stave:

This method that us can combine notes and also rests into the same bar. Have a look/listen to this example of fifty percent notes and half rests:

Half remainder Example
You have the right to hear exactly how the note in the first bar is played because that 2 beats and then there is a rest for 2 beats. This exact same pattern is repetitive in the 2nd bar.

Quarter Rest

A quarter remainder (or crotchet rest) lasts the very same duration together a quarter keep in mind or a crotchet – 1 beat. The symbol for a quarter remainder is black color vertical mark as shown below:

you may also occasionally check out a quarter rest (or crotchet rest) created as a reversed number seven, but this is increasingly rare. Let’s have actually a look in ~ a simple example, a combination of 4 minutes 1 notes (crotchets) and also quarter rests….

Quarter remainder Example
notice how every of the quarter notes is organized for a beat and also then there is a beat of silence wherein the quarter rest is.

Eighth Rest

An eighth rest (or quaver rest) big the same duration together an eighth note or a quaver – half a beat. The symbol because that an eighth rest looks a bit favor a number 7 created in the middle of the stave:

here is an instance of eighth rests:

Eighth rest Example

Sixteenth Rest

A sixteenth remainder (or semiquaver rest) large the exact same duration together a sixteenth note or a semiquaver – a 4 minutes 1 of a beat. The symbol for a sixteenth rest looks comparable to the eighth rest, however with an included “tail”:

right here is an example of 16 rests:

Sixteenth rest Example
right here is a an introduction table the rests in music:
You can see from the table that each keep in mind length has a equivalent rest. As a result, we deserve to make our music examples even more complicated by combining various rests and also note lengths in each bar (as long as the complete adds as much as the number of beats in our time signature):

Mixed note Rests Example
In the example over the combination of 4 minutes 1 note and also eighth keep in mind rests provides a syncopated and funky groove come the music. Right here is a more complex example:

Complex Rests Example
You deserve to hear how the combination of various rests to produce a yes, really exciting and syncopated rhythm.

Whole Bar Rests

In some pieces of music an instrument/part has a whole bar wherein it dram nothing. If an tool should no play for a bar climate it will be composed as follows….

Note: the whole bar rest marking works for every little thing time signature the piece is composed in.

In some pieces that ensemble music (e.g. Orchestras, wind bands or wire quartets, etc..) tools may have more than one bar’s rest. If an instrument should not play for more than one bar then it will certainly be created as follows…..


The over instrument should not play because that the very first 5 bars. This technique of notating lot of bars that rest provides it significantly easier for performers to review their components (and not lose count!) – it stop them having to role through many empty bars.

Dotted Rests

Dotted rhythms room a critical tool in notating music notes. However, the usage of dotted rests in traditional music notation is minimal and have the right to be a cause of controversy. This is becuase rests must not “cross the beat” – friend should constantly be able to watch separation in between the to win in a item of music. have a watch at these examples. In the first example, the beats can plainly be seen in the music and no rests overlap any kind of of the beats:

However, in this following example, the dotted remainder overlaps the start of the fourth beat. This is an incorrect use of a dotted rest:
together a result, over time signatures such as 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 dotted rests are not used. If a composer desires to display a rest size of one and a fifty percent beats (usually a dotted 4 minutes 1 note/dotted crotchet), climate he/she have to use a quarter rest adhered to by one eighth remainder (crotchet rest and also quaver rest) quite than a dotted quarter remainder (dotted crotchet rest).

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However, in 6/8 you will certainly sometimes uncover that composers execute use dotted quarter rests (dotted crotchet rests). However, traditionalists do sometimes “frown” top top this approach.

Hopefully this explanation that rests is fairly straightforward. As always, the best means to learn any sort of rate is to have actually a walk at clapping/playing it. I would certainly encourage you come play the examples over again and also clap in addition to them to obtain used come the “feel” that the different rests. If you’re spring for useful ways to learn just how to read music then examine out all the FREE content on mine site – there’s videos, articles and also worksheets to assist you out. It’s all TOTALLY FREE! an excellent luck!! Ben