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#2011905 - 01/09/13 08:38 PM How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth?
Evan R. Murphy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 42
Loc: Austin, Texas
Somebody asked me today, “How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth?”

I must admit that I stumbled for a moment before remembering: You shouldn’t encounter a whole note in 2/4 time, since the length of the note would be exceeding that of the measure. Instead you’ll see this written as two half notes tied together.

If by some chance you did encounter a whole note in 2/4, then it would be worth 4 beats. (Unless you can tell that the engraver was confused and thought that a whole note simply takes up a “whole” measure, in which case hold it for 2 beats.)

Great ice breaker for musician acquaintances! smile

Originally posted at http://sightreadingmastery.com/blog/how-many-beats-is-a-whole-note-in-24-worth, thought some here would enjoy.

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#2011920 - 01/09/13 09:08 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
I'd say you can play it however you want, because the composer or somebody didn't know math and so the note values don't mean anything. ha

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#2011925 - 01/09/13 09:15 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Mark_C]
Vid Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 839
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Its like dividing by zero. tiki
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2011930 - 01/09/13 09:24 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Vid]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
....or maybe one of these: ha


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#2011946 - 01/09/13 09:54 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Obviously it cannot be a whole note... Maybe it is a misprint? (Or the composer's math is really bad, but I cannot imagine anyone who writes music not understanding basic concepts like that, so it is probably a misprint... smile )
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Music is my best friend.


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#2011951 - 01/09/13 10:10 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Obviously it cannot be a whole note... Maybe it is a misprint? (Or the composer's math is really bad, but I cannot imagine anyone who writes music not understanding basic concepts like that, so it is probably a misprint... smile )

I think Beethoven has a thing or two that doesn't add up! ha

(Like, some of that weird stuff in Op. 110.)

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#2011956 - 01/09/13 10:29 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
mahermusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 347
Loc: U.S.A.
WHereas you CAN (and often do) see a whole REST in something other than common time, seeing a whole NOTE in 2/4 time would make my bassoonist spit her double reed across the ensemble...
_________________________
Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal

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#2011957 - 01/09/13 10:33 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
It means somebody needs to proofread before publishing!! Lol.

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#2011979 - 01/09/13 11:32 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Maybe the composer is a half-wit. smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2012094 - 01/10/13 05:52 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
A good lawyer could get the number of beats you're looking for ... though it would cost.
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#2012096 - 01/10/13 06:21 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
In some of Rachmaninoff's later works, when he temporarily changes the time signature, he doesn't bother writing it in, he just adds more beats to the bar and expects you to understand what's going on. Particularly in Op. 38 and 39 this happens. Perhaps it is a case of that?

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#2012190 - 01/10/13 10:20 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: debrucey]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: debrucey
In some of Rachmaninoff's later works, when he temporarily changes the time signature, he doesn't bother writing it in, he just adds more beats to the bar and expects you to understand what's going on. Particularly in Op. 38 and 39 this happens. Perhaps it is a case of that?


I looked at the scores, and you're right, he does things like that.

I think Alkan does that at some points, too crazy

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#2012211 - 01/10/13 11:34 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I hope people realize we're not talking about an actual piece. The original post is simply an idle musing from a blog selling a sight-reading service. There is no answer. (Nor is there really any philosophical point to be made about the practice of engraving.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2012227 - 01/10/13 12:14 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Kreisler]
Evan R. Murphy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 42
Loc: Austin, Texas
To put it cynically. I don't know if we're talking about an actual piece of music because the person who asked me didn't say. (They contacted me through the live chat on my website and left before answering that question, so who knows if they were asking in earnest or trolling or what.)

The interesting point to me is mahermusic's about the difference between whole note and whole rest lengths; it's likely to trip up beginners that they don't work the same way.

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#2012237 - 01/10/13 12:37 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Orange Soda King]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: debrucey
In some of Rachmaninoff's later works, when he temporarily changes the time signature, he doesn't bother writing it in, he just adds more beats to the bar and expects you to understand what's going on. Particularly in Op. 38 and 39 this happens....
I looked at the scores, and you're right, he does things lie that.

I think Alkan does that at some points, too crazy

Cool! cool
How many people knew that.....I sure never did.

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#2012354 - 01/10/13 04:34 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
It wouldn't work, too little beats in the measure. Unless its at the end then it doesn't really matter that much I guess. Supposed if you did see it, would it be connected by a tie into the next bar?
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Essex EUP-123S


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#2012425 - 01/10/13 07:10 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Evan R. Murphy]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2641
Loc: Netherlands
this reminds me of that story about a famous pianist being asked by this lady from the audience after the concert if he would be so kind as to play a 16th note for her.
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Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Rachmaninoff etudes tableaux op.39

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#2012439 - 01/10/13 07:41 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: ju5t1n-h]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18026
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
[...]Unless its at the end then it doesn't really matter that much I guess. Supposed if you did see it, would it be connected by a tie into the next bar?


Of course it still matters. It would have to be to half-notes tied over two measures.
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BruceD
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#2012449 - 01/10/13 07:56 PM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: BruceD]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
[...]Unless its at the end then it doesn't really matter that much I guess. Supposed if you did see it, would it be connected by a tie into the next bar?


Of course it still matters. It would have to be to half-notes tied over two measures.


Yes, that is what Sibelius (the notation program) automatically does for example (but of course it should be pretty obvious).
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2012593 - 01/11/13 02:54 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: ChopinAddict]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
[...]Unless its at the end then it doesn't really matter that much I guess. Supposed if you did see it, would it be connected by a tie into the next bar?


Of course it still matters. It would have to be to half-notes tied over two measures.


Yes, that is what Sibelius (the notation program) automatically does for example (but of course it should be pretty obvious).


Amen
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2012631 - 01/11/13 07:05 AM Re: How many beats is a whole note in 2/4 worth? [Re: Kreisler]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7844
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I hope people realize we're not talking about an actual piece.


I think you should sue, since they are clearly ripping off a piece of yours. smile

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