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Encyclopedia > Whole note
Figure 1. A whole note and a whole rest.

In music, a whole note (American or "German" terminology) or semibreve (British or "classical" terminology) is a note represented by a hollow oval note head, like a half note (or minim), and no note stem (see Figure 1). Its length is typically equal to four beats in 4/4 time. Most other notes divide the whole note; half notes are played for one half the duration of the whole note, quarter notes (or crotchets) are each played for one quarter the duration, etc. A whole note lasts half as long as a double whole note (or breve). A whole note and a whole rest on a staff. ... A whole note and a whole rest on a staff. ... // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ... The oval that is seen at the top or bottom of a note. ... In music, a half note (American) or minim is a note played for one half the duration of a whole note, hence the name. ... Stems can refer to two things in music, relating to music notation and production. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In music, a quarter note (American) or crotchet (Commonwealth) is played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note. ... Various breve notations A double whole note or breve is a note in music, lasting twice as long as a whole note (or semibreve). ...


A related symbol is the whole rest (or semibreve rest), which usually denotes a silence for the same duration. Whole rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles hanging under the second line from the top of a musical staff. A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music, marked by a sign indicating the length of the pause. ... In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and time. ...


The whole rest, and occasionally the whole note, are also used in a more general way in time signatures other than 4/4; there they can represent the entire measure, regardless of how many whole notes would ordinarily fit in. For example, a whole rest may have a length equal to five beats if used in 5/4 time. If followed by a quarter note, however, it will have the ordinary value. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The whole note derives from the semibrevis of mensural notation, and this is the origin of the British name. The American name is a loan translation of the German Ganze Note. Menstrual notation is the musical notation system which was used from the later part of the 13th century until about 1600. ... Calque In linguistics, a calque ([kælk]) or loan translation (itself a calque of German Lehnübersetzung) consists of the borrowing of a phrase from one language into another, in the process of which individual words native to the borrowing language semantically match the individual words in the source language. ...


The names of this note (and rest) in European languages vary greatly:

Language note name rest name
German Ganze Note Ganze Pause
Greek Olokliro (ολόκληρο) Pafsi oloklirou (παύση ολοκλήρου)
French ronde pause
Italian semibreve pausa di semibreve
Spanish redonda silencio de redonda
Portuguese semibreve pausa de semibreve

The French and Spanish names for the note (both meaning "round") derive from the fact that the semibrevis was distinguished by its round stemless shape, which is true as well of the modern form (in contrast to the double whole note or shorter values with stems). The Greek name means "whole". Various breve notations A double whole note or breve is a note in music, lasting twice as long as a whole note (or semibreve). ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Whole note - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (249 words)
Most other notes divide the whole note; half notes are played for one half the duration of the whole note, quarter notes are each played for one quarter the duration, etc. The note twice the length of the whole note is the double whole note (or breve).
A similar symbol is the whole rest (or semibreve rest), which usually denotes a silence for the same duration.
Whole rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles hanging under the second line from the top of a musical staff.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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