Hundred twenty-eighth note

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Beethoven used hundred twenty-eighth notes in the first movement of his Pathétique Sonata (Op. 13)
A hundred twenty-eighth note with stem facing up, a hundred twenty-eighth note with stem facing down, and a hundred twenty-eighth rest.
Hundred twenty-eighth notes beamed together.

In music, a hundred twenty-eighth note is a note played for 1/128 of the duration of a whole note. It lasts half as long as a sixty-fourth note. It has a total of five flags or beams.

Notes this short are very rare in printed music, but not unknown. They are principally used for brief, rapid sections in slow movements. For example, they occur in the first movement of Beethoven's Pathétique Piano Sonata (Op. 13), to notate rapid scales. Another example is in Mozart's Variations on Je suis lindor, where many of them are used in the slow twelfth variation.[1][2]

These five-beamed notes also appear occasionally where a passage is to be performed rapidly, but where the actual tempo is at the discretion of the performer rather than being a strict division of the beat. In such cases, the aggregate time of the notes may not add up exactly to a full measure, and the phrase may be marked with an odd time division to indicate this. Sometimes such notation is made using smaller notes, sized like grace notes. One rare instance where such five-beamed notes occur as acciacaturas occurs in the final measures of No. 2 of Charles-Valentin Alkan's Trois grandes études, Op. 76.

Hundred twenty-eighth rests are also rare, but again not unknown. They are most commonly used as replacements for breath marks. One is used in Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 13 "Quasi una fantasia".

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

Language note name rest name
Catalan garrapatea silenci de garrapatea
Danish Hundredeogotteogtyvendedelsnode Hundredeogotteogtyvendedelspause
Dutch Honderdachtentwintigste noot Honderdachtentwintigste rust
German Hundertundachtundzwanzigstelnote Hundertundachtundzwanzigstelpause
French quintuple-croche trente-deuxième de soupir
Italian centoventottavo pausa di centoventottavo
Polish stodwudziestoósemka pauza stodwudziestoósemka
Portuguese quartifusa / tremifusa pausa de quartifusa / pausa de tremifusa
Spanish garrapatea / cuartifusa silencio de garrapatea / silencio de cuartifusa


  1. ^ Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. 12 Variations on 'Je suis lindor', K.354. p. 10, fourth system, last bar. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Werke, Serie 21. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1877-1910. Plate W.A.M. 354. [1]
  2. ^