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Half Note

reading music

A half note (also called a minim in British English) is a note in traditional Western music notation that is notated with an open note head and a stem.

Here is a half note on a five-line staff:

When writing a half note (or any note with a stem), if it is below the middle line, the stem points up:

Note that if the stem points up, it is drawn on the right side of the note head. If the stem points down, it appears on the left.

The value of a half note is half of a whole note, or two quarter notes as in the following example:

A half note can also be broken down into four eighth notes:

… or any subdivision thereof. If you know simple arithmetic, you can understand music rhythm. Two eighth notes plus one quarter note equals a half note. Similarly, a quarter note, an eighth note plus two sixteenth notes also total a half note.

If you wish to master reading music, be sure to check out my comprehensive course, How to Read Sheet Music!

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