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Understanding musical scores
Understanding musical scores

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1.3.4 Comparing notes: reading a musical score

In this video, you’re going to study some simple melodies [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] to understand more about how to follow single lines of music in a score.

Even if you don’t read music, you can get an idea of what rhythm patterns look like by the shape of the notes. As a general rule, the blacker the notes look and the more densely they occupy the space of the bar, the faster the notes in relation to the beat. The more open and white the notes appear, the slower they are in relation to the beat. A single four beat note called a semibreve, for example, may occupy a whole bar, but in the same space of time, you may get 16 semiquavers:

Figure 15

Notice how these faster notes have their stems connected with a beam. These two bars of notes are mathematically equal in value in terms of the duration of their respective sounds, provided the speed of the beat doesn’t change.

When you watch this video, use what you understand about note values to help you learn to follow the scores.

Download this video clip.Video player: 37786_comparing_notes_reading_a_musical_score_-1080.mp4
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