assuming that the quarter is one beat, how many beats is the circled part?

Thank you for your help

the circled part

  • 3
    The tag you must google is not beat. You have to look up note length and dotted notes and then ask for images. You will find a lot of explanations. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 15 '19 at 20:34
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    If a quarter note has a length of 1, the circled notes would have a length of 0.75 and 0.25. Together they are as long as one quarter note. – Jasper Habicht Apr 15 '19 at 20:37
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    Beats and counts are two closely-related but often-conflated concepts. How many beats a note gets is partially dependent on the time signature, e.g. a half-note gets two beats in 4/4 time but gets one beat in 2/2 time. Counts, on the other hand, are absolute. A quarter note is always one count, a half note is always two counts, etc. – John Doe Apr 15 '19 at 20:39
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    @JohnDoe can you point to a source for this meaning of "count"? I have never encountered it before. – phoog Apr 15 '19 at 21:47
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    @JohnDoe that is completely incorrect. – Carl Witthoft Apr 16 '19 at 15:18

A dotted eighth note plus a sixteenth note equal one quarter note.

assuming that the quarter is one beat

The circled part is one beat.

1 quarter note = 2 eighth notes 1 eighth note = 2 sixteenth notes

A dot next to a note represents increasing by one half the value of the dotted note.

A dot next to an eighth note is worth 1/2 the eighth note, a sixteenth note.

So your circle figure is...

An eighth note + a sixteenth note valued dot + a sixteenth note = 1 quarter note.


So I’ve been searching more than 10 minutes but I didn’t find a really smart explanation!

The most intuitiv picture is the following:

Here in this example are 2 beats of quaters in one bar. You see that the time is 2/4.

2/4 are corresponding to 4/8 or 8/16

in bar 1 we have 4/8 (1/8 rest, 1/8 with a flag and 2/8 tied with beam.

in bar 2 we have a dotted eighth note and a 16th with a beam like in your example and 4 16th with a beam.

The dotted eighth note has the value of 3 sixteenth notes. (This wants to show the red circle round the 3 sixteenths of the next group.) Together with the last sixteenth note we have 4/16 = 1/4 = 1 beat. So the motif in your question is one beat.

enter image description here

In the next picture with a 4/4 time we can see that all groups of beamed notes

(except the eight notes in the 1. bar of the last line) are one beat

enter image description here

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    really? You couldn't have found a Wiki entry or a Dolmetsch entry in less than 3 minutes which explains completely clearly how notes subdivide time intervals??? – Carl Witthoft Apr 16 '19 at 15:17
  • My answer is to understand as an excuse for my comment to look up the theory sites. It is not so simple to explain without going back to Adam and Eve or the big bang. I think that these explanations with note lengths and dotted notes and 16th and all these tables are not helping to someone who has the question of OP. . Of course you find many sites in one click (or about 3 seconds) that show the subdivide times of intervals but I am not sure that one of those would be understandable for someone who has the problem of OP. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 16 '19 at 16:32

Assuming you know the length of an eighth and the length of a sixteenth what you need to know is what the dot does.

A dot takes the length of the note and adds half of that to it. So a dotted eighth is like an eighth plus a sixteenth. So the dotted eighth last the same as three sixteenths.

The second part is a sixteenth.

If you were counting that beat as 6 E & A (I assume this is in 6/4) The notes would fall on 6 and A.

6 E & a



The answer is one.

It would also help, Angela, to really look at and think about @John Does' brilliantly-placed comment (after all, it helpfully assigns an arbitrary name to how we internalize duration). It is the most correct of all.

We can declare 'note gets one beat', but everything else like counts, (or how we mindfully index the notation') is up to us: the player. In other words, are we subdividing correctly?

Thanks for posting your question, it's entirely on-topic.

The following beats have been bolded in green/(yours in purple).

enter image description here

close up of implied note

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    John Doe's answer (improperly posted as a comment) is not correct. There is no system in which quarter notes are invariably counted as "one count" unless someone arbitrarily defines such a system -- and there is no general reason to prefer such an arbitrarily defined system over an equally arbitrary system in which the eighth note or half note is magically associated with the number 1. – phoog Apr 16 '19 at 19:36
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    @ReneMarcelo Is that... sarcasm? Why is that "entirely on-topic" bolded? – user45266 Apr 17 '19 at 4:17
  • Beats have now been bolded! – Rene Marcelo Apr 17 '19 at 20:12
  • How does "bolding" the beats help? And why is one "beat" a dotted quarter note, while another "beat" is an eighth note? – ex nihilo Apr 17 '19 at 22:27
  • Wow, David. Your gratuitous use of quotes is starting to get a rise out of me. I can hardly hold onto my composure. Yaye, it feels as if I’m almost at 150% of my usual patience threshold. Yet at precisely at that mark do I sigh, and my remaining breath takes the other remaining 50% of duration allotment I had left -- MUCH like the precious ”dotted-eighth sixteenth”, come to think of it. I’m better, now. – Rene Marcelo Apr 18 '19 at 4:29

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