Note Values

Here are the most common note values you will encounter.

 

Semibreve

A semibreve (whole note) lasts for four counts.
 

Minim

 

A minim (half note) lasts for two counts.

  • Two minims occupy the same duration as a semibreve

 

Crotchet

 

A crotchet (quarter note) lasts for one count.

  • Two crotchets occupy the same duration as a minim

  • Four crotchets occupy the same duration as a semibreve

 

Quaver

 

A quaver (eighth note) lasts for half a count.

  • Two quavers occupy the same duration as a crotchet

  • Four quavers occupy the same duration as a minim

  • Eight quavers occupy the same duration as a semibreve

 

Semiquaver

 

A semiquaver (sixteenth note) lasts for a quarter of a count.

  • Two semiquavers occupy the same duration as a quaver

  • Four semiquavers occupy the same duration as a crotchet

  • Eight semiquavers occupy the same duration as a minim

  • Sixteen semiquavers occupy the same duration as a semibreve

 

Notes smaller than one count, or beat, have tails, e.g. the quaver has a single tail and the semiquaver has two.

We also have demisemiquavers, hemidemisemiquavers, semihemidemisemiquavers and demisemihemidemisemiquavers – with three, four, five and six tails respectively – but we will ignore them for now.

The chart below will help you to remember note durations.