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Musical Symbols of Piano Music: Part Two

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Music Rest Lengths
Different musical rest lengths.

Music rest values: In the bottom staff, the half-rest ends the half-note chord, but does not affect the eighth-notes (notice this rest is written on a higher staff line than a standard half-rest).

Image © Brandy Kraemer

Music Rest Lengths

A music rest marks the absence of a note, and indicates there will be no note played in the measure for its duration.

Rests are written in lengths, just like notes; a rest with the duration of a quarter note is called a quarter rest. Dotted rests are used in the same manner as dotted notes: A rest of 1 1/2 beats may be written as a dotted quarter rest.

In the event of notation overlap – such as a half-note chord written in a measure full of eighth-notes – rests and notes may appear simultaneously despite each other (see example, above).

See More Musical Symbols:
Staff & Barlines    ■Note Lengths     ■Articulation Marks    ■Repeat Signs
The Grand Staff      ■Dotted Notes      ■Dynamics & Volume      ■Segno & Coda Signs
Time Signatures       ■Accidentals        ■Key Signatures      ■Pedal Marks
Tempo Commands     ■Piano Chords         ■Music Rests          ■8va & Octave Commands


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