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What note is this and how many counts does this note get in 2/4 time? How do you count this rhythm?

2 Answers 2


Let's start with the time signature. 2/4 indicates that there are two quarter notes worth of beats per measure. Let's then state that 1 beat is 1 quarter note. By that logic, an eighth note is 0.5 beat and a sixteenth note is 0.25 beat.

There are three notes in your picture. The first one is a sixteenth note (as seen with the two flags), followed by an eighth note (one flag), and another sixteenth note (two flags). We do the math, we get:

0.25 + 0.5 + 0.25 = 1.

Together these notes add up to 1 beat, or the equivalent of 1 quarter note. The way you would count these would be something like this:

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Lost? Don't be. What we are going to do is divide each beat into four smaller beats, each making up a quarter of it. We can do that, we're just counting in more smaller-sized intervals called sixteenths. Every syllable ("1", "e", "and", "a") is that sixteenth. A sixteenth note would be just a single syllable and an eighth note would be twice that much, so two syllables (as seen with "e +")

I just stretched out your example to occupy an entire measure. I'm assuming that your pattern starts at the start of a measure, but if it starts in another spot, it would be the exact same, except the downbeat wouldn't be on the first note

Here is a recording at 60BPM where each beat is an quarter note. Hope that helps


Since you seem to be a newbie, why not try what I did when I was (still do, sometimes!).

Take the smallest value note as 'one count', and count all others in relation to that.In 2/4, there are two beats, each a crotchet. The smallest note value here is a semiquaver. There are four semiquavers to a crotchet. So if we count one for each semiquaver, we need a count of two for the quavers in between.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 - assuming the second half of the bar is the same!

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