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Rests are graphical representations equivalent to the note figures and during which the musician does not play.
A rest is a figure representing a duration during which the musician does not play. At each rhythm figure corresponds a rest figure of the same duration. As for the rhythm figures, the rests do not have an absolute duration but depend on the beat value and the tempo.
Whole and half rests
Rests and rhythms figures have the same name. Just replace the "note" word by the "rest" word, and you will get the rest name. For example, the rest equivalent to the whole note is the whole rest. They have the same duration.
The whole rest ( ) has the same duration as the whole note.
The half rest ( ) has the same duration as the half note.
Note that the whole rest and half rest are represented by rectangles of identical size. The only way to distinguish between the two is to clearly identify their position on the staff. The whole rest is always hooked to a staff line from above, while the half rest is attached to the staff from below. Generally, the whole rest is suspended at the 4th line of the staff while the half rest is placed on the 3rd line.
Special case of the whole rest
When an entire bar is empty, the whole rest is used to fill the bar with silence, regardless of the time signature. In this case (and in this case only), the whole rest will not necessarily be equivalent to a whole note.
Note that when used to fill an entire measure, the whole rest is placed at the center of the measure.
Quarter, 8th, 16th rests
The quarter rest ( ) has the same duration as the quarter note.
If we continue the successive divisions, we obtain the remaining rests :
the eighth rest ( );
the sixteenth rest ( );
the thirty-second rest ( );
the sixty-fourth rest ( );
|Rhythm names||Rhythm figures||Rest names||Rest figures||Divisions of the whole note*|
|Whole note||||Whole rest||||1|
|Half note||||Half rest||||2|
|Quarter note||||Quarter rest||||4|
|8th note||||8th rest||||8|
|16th note||||16th rest||||16|
|32nd note||||32nd rest||||32|
|64th note||||64th rest||||64|
* Number of notes/rests needed to get the duration of a whole note.
Last update on 2021/05/07
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