We've already learnt that the shape of a note can affect its length. We found out that semibreves are held for a count of four, and minims are held for a count of two.
Notes that are held for a count of one are called crotchets.
Crotchets look a lot like minims - the only difference is that the note head is filled in with a solid black colour, whereas minims are open circles (well, ovals really).
Here are the notes from middle C up to the C an octave higher, in crotchets.
Notice that the direction of the note stems changes about halfway up the stave - the lower notes (C to A) have their stems pointing upwards, but the higher ones (B and C) have theirs pointing downwards. This is just to make the music look tidier.
Listen and sing along to this melody. The woodblock will keep a steady beat when you press "play". This melody uses crotchets and minims.
This one uses crotchets and semibreves.
And this one uses crotchets, minims and semibreves.
Most music is written with barlines - vertical lines which cut through the stave. Barlines divide the music up into bars, which are usually (but not always) the same length. You should give a slightly stronger emphasis to the first note in each bar.
This melody has been divided into bars which are two beats long. Try to sing along.
This melody has been divided into bars of three beats.
And this one is in four.
Here are some short melodies to practice. See how many you can name! (Hover your mouse over the stave to reveal the name of the song!)