World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Whole note

Article Id: WHEBN0000088699
Reproduction Date:

Title: Whole note  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Half note, Note head, Rest (music), Kodály Method, Eye music
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Whole note

Figure 1. A whole note and a whole rest.


In music, a whole note (American) or semibreve (British) 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 equal to four beats in 4/4 time. Most other notes are fractions of 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—hence the British name, semibreve), and twice as long as a half note, or minim. The symbol is first found in music notation from the late thirteenth century (Morehen and Rastall 2001).

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 generally hanging under the second line from the top of a musical staff, though they may occasionally be put under a different line in more complicated passages, such as when two instruments or vocalists are written on one staff, and one is temporarily silent.

Other lengths

The whole note and whole rest may also be used in music of free rhythm, such as Anglican chant, to denote a whole measure, irrespective of the time of that measure. The whole rest can be used this way in almost all or all forms of music.

Etymology

The whole note derives from the semibrevis of mensural notation, and this is the origin of the British name. The American name is a calque of the German ganze Note.

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

Language note name rest name
Arabic البيضاء سكتة البيضاء
Catalan rodona silenci de rodona
Chinese (中文) 全音符 全休止符
Danish helnode helnodepause
Dutch hele noot hele rust
Estonian täisnoot täispaus
French ronde pause
German ganze Note ganze Pause
Greek olokliro (ολόκληρο) pafsi oloklirou (παύση ολοκλήρου)
Italian semibreve pausa di semibreve
Japanese 全音符 (zen onpu) 全休符 (zen kyūfu)
Korean 온음표 온쉼표
Lithuanian pilnoji nata pilnoji pauzė
Portuguese semibreve pausa de semibreve
Polish cała nuta pauza całonutowa
Romanian notă întreagă pauză de nota intreaga
Russian целая нота целая пауза
Serbian cela nota / цела нота cela pauza / цела пауза
Spanish redonda silencio de redonda
Swedish helnot helpaus
Thai โน๊ตตัวกลม ตัวหยุดตัวกลม
Turkish birlik nota birlik es
Vietnamese nốt tròn lặng tròn
Welsh hannerbrif saib yr hannerbrif

The Catalan, French and Spanish names for the note (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". Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese names mean "whole note".

See also

References

  • Morehen, John, and Richard Rastall. 2001. "Semibreve". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.