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#961900 - 11/29/04 07:11 PM rest ABOVE note  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 20
denise_dup1 Offline
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denise_dup1  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 20
What does it mean when there is a quarter rest (or any rest ABOVE a note) OVER a dotted half note?

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#961901 - 11/29/04 07:16 PM Re: rest ABOVE note  
Joined: Jan 2002
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JBryan Offline
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JBryan  Offline
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It means the piece has more than one voice. It is where one voice rests while another one is playing a dotted half note. Look for a measure's worth of something including that quarter rest in the same measure.

Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#961902 - 11/29/04 08:45 PM Re: rest ABOVE note  
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denise_dup1 Offline
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denise_dup1  Offline
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Can you be a little more specific. The piece is 3/4 time and ONE measure has a dotted half note with the quarter rest above it AND a separate half note all in the bass clef. Isn't that too many beats for a measure in this piece?

#961903 - 11/29/04 08:57 PM Re: rest ABOVE note  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
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I found this terribly confusing too, Denise, so you're not alone.

Ignore the treble cleff completely for now. Basically, imagine that the bass clef has been divided in two horizontally. One voice (set of notes) is on the upper half of the bass clef, and another voice is on the lower half of the bass clef.

So in 4/4 time, to use a really obvious example, you could have a whole note on the bottom half of the bass clef worth four beats, and you could also have two rests and two quarter notes on the upper half of the bass clef worth four beats. It's four beats, not eight, because the voices are "singing" at the same time.

It sounds weird, but if you think about it, you divide your thinking in piano all the time in exactly this way. Only the two voices (the treble clef and the bass cleff) are separated by some white space.

Oh, that probably didn't help, did it?

Cindy -- hoping she got that right

#961904 - 11/30/04 07:15 AM Re: rest ABOVE note  
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mound Offline
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mound  Offline
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Rochester, NY
I remember how confused I was at this as well! Try to learn some of the Bach 2 and 3 pt inventions as a way to practice and study music with more than one voice..

Often it helps to learn the voices independantly. Sometimes, if you really want to "do your homework" - get some score paper or a computer with score notation software, and re-write the piece, putting each voice on a seperate staff, and then learn to play each voice seperatly so that you are really hearing it. If for example you're working on counterpoint (a Bach invention for example) this is an excellent learning technique.

But I digressed a bit. Pay attention to these rests and such, sometimes you'll have to play a note and hold it while you play others, in the same hand.


"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer
#961905 - 12/01/04 11:14 AM Re: rest ABOVE note  
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Lightnin Offline
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Lightnin  Offline
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I've been really puzzled by this stems up/stems down notation too. In music such as Bach, two or more parts does seem obviously present, and this seems easier to understand, not a problem.

But in popular music, it occurs in fewer measures, more random like, usually whole notes or dotted halfs or maybe halfs, but not a melody, seeming more like rhythm or harmony accompiment than a voice.

I'm sure there are exceptions to everything, but for one good example the PVG version of Body and Soul (30s standard), sometimes only has this in maybe every third measure, sometimes bass sometimes treble staff, but always half or whole notes. It seems not melody, not at all like another "part" like in Bach.

One of the first beginner pieces I learned was a real easy J.S. Bach piece named "Minuete" in G. No, not that famous Minuete in G, but another easier one named just Minute. It had only two such "stems down" dotted half notes on the entire page. So it seems not a voice, just a couple more notes, more like a chord (except for note duration). It seems only a way to denote the longer duration of this note.

Does this simpler, more brief concept (very different concept than Bachs Inventions) have any proper musical name? I have been unable to find any mention of it.

My teachers explanation is a simplistic "just play all of them".

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