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11. Rewriting with Different Time Values

Grade 3 Music Theory - Lesson 11: Rewriting with Different Time Values

What is Rewriting?

We can rewrite a melody using different value notes, without changing the rhythm. For example, here’s a rhythm in 3/4:
3-4 rhythm

 

 

And here’s the same rhythm in 3/2:
3-2 rhythm

The rhythm itself hasn't changed - only the type of note used as the main beat has changed.

 

The time signature changes – but only the lower number. This is because we have kept the same number of beats per bar (3), and we have only changed the type of beat from a crotchet (quarter note) in the first example, to a minim (half note) in the second example.

A minim (half note) is worth two crotchets (quarters), so all the notes in the second example are twice the value of those in the first one. The notes in the first example are half the value.

Rhythms written at twice the value use slower note values.

Be careful! If we write a rhythm in notes of half the value, we double the bottom number. If we write a rhythm in notes of twice the value, we halve the bottom number. This might seem a little strange at first!

 

Table of Time Signatures

For the grade three exam, you only need to know about these time signatures for this question:

Twice the Value

Original Time Signature

Half the Value

3/4

3/8

-

2/2

2/4

-

3/2

3/4

3/8

4/2

4/4

-

-

2/2

2/4

-

3/2

3/4

-

4/2

4/4

(Compound time signatures will not come up in this part of the exam.)

 

Table of Note Durations

Twice the Value

Original Note

Half the Value

semiquaver

demisemiquaver

-

quaver

semiquaver

demisemiquaver

crotchet

quaver

semiquaver

minim

crotchet

quaver

semibreve

minim

crotchet

-

semibreve

minim

Dotted notes don’t need any special treatment. Just copy the dot over to the new note value.

 

Table of Rest Durations

Twice the Value

Original Rest

Half the Value

semiquaver rest

demisemiquaver rest

-

quaver rest

semiquaver rest

demisemiquaver rest

crotchet rest

quaver rest

semiquaver rest

minim rest

crotchet rest

quaver rest

semibreve rest

minim rest

crotchet rest

-

semibreve rest

minim rest

 

How to Rewrite with New Note Values

  • Put the new time signature in first.
  • On a piece of rough paper, draw a table showing the new note values you’ll need. (For example, if you are rewriting at half the value, writesmall crotchet=> small quaver. Use this for reference as you do the question – it will help to avoid mistakes.
  • Write each new note directly under each original note, so that you don’t run out of space.
  • Draw note stems and bar lines with a ruler.
  • Don’t forget to add any accidentals.
  • Don’t forget to beam quavers (eighth notes)  and semiquavers (sixteenth notes) together.
  • Check your work by carefully counting up the beats in each bar.

 

 

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