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Music rests in piano music.

Eighth, quarter, half, and whole rests.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: A rest is a musical symbol written in a measure where no note is played. Rests, like music notes, are measured in length: quarter, half, and whole rests are among the most common rests.*

Music rests only affect the staff in which they occur; a rest in the bass staff won’t affect the treble staff, and vice versa. However, a rest may be written in a staff full of notes if there are two planes of action – continue for a visual example: * Rest names may be in U.S. or U.K. English, like notes. A U.S. whole rest is also called a U.K. “semibreve rest”; a quarter rest is also a “crotchet rest,” and so on.

Also Known As:
  • pausa (It)
  • silence (Fr)
  • Pause (Ger)

More Musical Symbols:

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