Elements of Theory – Beyer – Lesson # 2

In the previous lesson we’ve understood some concepts like staff, notes’s height and their position on the keyboard. Now we’ll see the conceps of sound and pauses’s duration.

When we’re listening a song, we can easily see how some sounds are faster than others and how they’re giving a rhythmic and a well-defined value to the melody. Sounds’s duration corresponds, in music, to the note’s duration. In fact, musical notes have a property, “the value”, that provides how much a note should stand in time. The value is indicated by a graphical simbology that modifies the parts of a note: head (3), stem (2) and tail (1). Tail usually is more called “cedilla” or “comma”.

Note’s value doesn’t indicates an absolute period of time, but relative to the duration of the possible values (because it would be just a little flexibility to the changes of time). They are related each other mathematically and hierarchically. Value hierarchy precedent will be longer double than the next.

With this table you can see how the Semishort is the double of a Minim and the Minim is the double of a Semiminin (and more). So, in a Semishort we’ll have four Seminims.

When we’ve multiple=


When we’ve multiple notes with the stem (in succession), they’re bounding each other in this way

1/4 with a point assumes the value of 3/8

A note’s value, for some particolar requirements (ex. jazz’s swing) can be further modified adding a point next to the note. The point increases the note’s value of an half. This example shows that a note, that has a value of a quarter with the add of a point, increases his value of a 3/8. However, a semishort (2/4) would become of 3/4. Here can also be used more points, to a maximum of 3. Every point successive to the first, adds the half of the previous. The semishort with two point will have the value (2/4+1/4+1/8=7/8) di 7/8.

A value’s ligature is a musical notation that links two musical figures to the same height. Their value is added. Two semishorts linked through a value’s ligature, for example, doubles their value.

Looking at the pauses, they have the same properties of the notes but a different function: they represent a determinate moment of silence.

In the next lesson we’ll see the theoretical concept of beat. After this, we will start our practise course.

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