Rhythm and some Notations
The next concern is how and when to play each note. When ready music you need to figure out WHEN to start the note and HOW LONG to play it for. Music is divided into sentences known as measures. For our purposes you may see a "C" or a "4/4" at the start of the music. This indicates that the tune has 4 beats to the measure and each QUARTER NOTE gets a beat. If it has "2/4" at the beginning then there are 2 beats to the measure and each quarter note gets a beat.
Here's the notes you may encounter and time length:
The whole notes gets 4 beats. The half note gets 2 beats. The quarter note gets 1 beat. It follows then that an eighth note will get 1/2 a beat and a sixteenth note will get 1/4 of a beat. (32nd note, 64th note, etc). If a note is dotted, that means the note is worth 50% more then the original note.
To help keep track of where you are you should tap your foot with the beat. How do you know where the beat starts? Sometimes the music is marked in such a way which makes it easy to find (as in our last measure above) or you can mark the music with a pencil to note the downbeats (this may be a bad idea when it's displayed on a computer screen)
A dot above a note indicates that that note is to be played short. This is called Staccato
A curved line above notes indicates that you should not put any space between the notes. This is known as a slur.
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