Beginning to Read Music

by John Craton

Taking a Rest

We do not play music without having occasional pauses in the music. Sometimes we stop playing, either for a pause or to let another instrument play something. Nevertheless, even when we donít have any notes to play we still must keep the beat going to the very end. When the composer wants you to stop for a beat or two, he will insert rests into the music. These represent beats or parts of a beat when we do not play any notes. There are rests that correspond to each of the notes, and they look like this:

From left to right: whole rest, half rest, quarter rest, eighth rest, sixteenth rest.

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