The smallest value we have seen so far is that of the quarter note (crotchet), which lasts a whole beat. There are, of course, symbols for notes of shorter duration.

Here you can see symbols that last a half (50%) or a quarter (25%) of a beat:

Symbols Name Value
Eighth note
Half of a quarter note.
We can have two eighth
notes for each beat.
Sixteenth note
One fourth of a quarter note.
We can have four of
these for each beat.

It is common practice to beam the flags of eighth and sixteenth notes that are on the same beat together to make reading easier:

Let's look at a musical example using these note values. Notice how eighth notes and sixteenth notes are beamed together:

There are figures for even shorter values than that of the sixteenth note. Please visit the Reference section for more information.

Translated by Dan Román, revised by Sue Talley.

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José Rodríguez Alvira.