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Sormelharf Home > Rhythm > Rests

A Basic Introduction to Rhythm

Part 6: Rests

Here is an example of a simple piece of music consisting of a few pitches (covered in the section on Sound). In this piece the time signature is four-four, so there are 4 beats in a measure and each note is equal to one beat.

A simple piece using quarter notes

Music rarely consists of constant sound. To indicate silence in music, we use rests. A rest indicates that you should not play anything. The quarter rest is the rhythmic equivalent of a quarter note. If the bottom number in the time signature is 4, then the quarter rest is equal to one beat.

A quarter rest looks like this:

The quarter rest

Let’s alter our musical selection above by inserting some rests.

A simple tune using quarter rests

By adding the rests, we have created more variety in the music and made it more interesting.

The next section of our introduction will cover longer note values.

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