Can anyone identify the symbol circled in the image below? It's from a piece of piano music.

A measure of music with: a crotchet, a minim, and a symbol that looks something like an inverted "Z".  This symbol is circled.


2 Answers 2


Ordinary quarter rest in a somewhat uncommon but not unheard-of style. French publisher?

  • 6
    That's nothing -- wait 'til you run into scores (also French, usually) where the flags are backwards! Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 13:25
  • 3
    Sometimes you will also see what looks just like a backwards eighth rest -- like what you circled above but without the bottom part. That is also a quarter rest. Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 15:24
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    @JörgWMittag Brilliantly put, I'm going to use that one! By night I'm a musician, but by day I'm an engineer from the UK, and my pet peeve is that Americans insist on calling them "English" units when the correct term is "US Customary." The US gallon, for example is completely different from the British gallon (which of course has fell out of use years ago.) But which of these makes more sense: A B H C or A Bb B C?? We all like to be different in some way or other ;-) Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 9:38
  • @steveverrill The term that can be memorized well. Some guys insist on do, re, mi or even ut, re mi. So, what?!
    – harper
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 19:31
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    @steveverrill Interestingly, the B H in German notation comes from earlier times, when tritones were forbidden as "diabolus in musica" in sacred music. The way to avoid a tritone was to distinguish between "square b" or B natural when using with an E and "round b" or B flat when using with an F. From these, we get our natural and flat signs. German H reflects the natural sign, and German B reflects the flat sign. Oh, and by the way, we Americans have our pet peeves at UK insistences too, "Mitchigan" being among them. :)
    – BobRodes
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 2:33

As there are 4 beats in the bar, it has to be a crotchet (quarter note ) rest. It's probably easier to draw than the regular one, but there is an alternative which is the opposite way round to the quaver rest, again, easier to write.

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