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Humberto
12-01-2012, 11:42 AM
How long should a whole note last in terms of beats?

This is how I understand things so far (please correct any mistakes):

The tempo indication is first used to determine the tempo of the music. For example if the tempo indication is andante then there should be around 72 to 96 beats per minute.
Next one looks at the time signature. For example a time signature of 3/4 means there are three quarter note beats in a measure.

In the above example, how long is a quarter note?

Mr G
12-01-2012, 01:13 PM
Simply speaking, 72 bpm means you are playing 1.2 beats per second, so in one second you will play 0.83 beats.

The time signature basically tells you that one beat equals one crotchet, and that each bar contains 3 beats/crotchets. so, in one minute you will play 72 crotchets, or 24 bars of music.

Does this help?

Humberto
12-01-2012, 01:40 PM
Simply speaking, 72 bpm means you are playing 1.2 beats per second, so in one second you will play 0.83 beats.

The time signature basically tells you that one beat equals one crotchet, and that each bar contains 3 beats/crotchets. so, in one minute you will play 72 crotchets, or 24 bars of music.

Does this help?

This does help, thank you.

In the above example, does this mean, theoretically, that a crotchet should last 0.83 seconds? Would a semibreve last more than one bar?

Mr G
12-01-2012, 03:05 PM
In the above example, does this mean, theoretically, that a crotchet should last 0.83 seconds? Would a semibreve last more than one bar?

In theory it would, but in reality it wouldnt be written that way, as a single semi-breve. It would most probably be written as a dotted minim in one bar, and tied to a crotchet in the next bar