The smallest value we have seen up to this point is that of the quarter note (crotchet), which lasts for a whole beat. Of course, there are symbols for notes of shorter duration.

Here you can see symbols that take a half (50%) or a fourth (25%) of a beat:

Symbols Name Value
Eighth note
(quaver)
Half of a quarter note.
We can have two eighth
notes for each beat.
Sixteenth note
(semiquaver)
One fourth of a quarter note.
We can have four of
these for each beat.

It is common practice to beam together the flags of eighth notes and sixteenth notes that are part of the same beat, in order to facilitate reading.

Let's take a look at a musical example using these note values. Note how eighth notes and sixteenth notes have been beamed together:

There are shapes for even shorter values than that of the sixteenth note. Please visit the Reference Section for more information.


Translated by Dan Román, revised by Sue Talley.




    
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José Rodríguez Alvira.