Sixty-fourth note

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In music notation, a 64th note (American) or hemidemisemiquaver (British) is a note played for half the duration of an thirty-second note (or demisemiquaver), hence the name. It first occurs in the late 17th century and, apart from rare occurrences of one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes, (semihemidemisemiquavers), it is the shortest value found in musical notation (Morehen 2001).

Hemidemisemiquaver.png

Sixty-fourthth notes are notated with a filled in oval note head and a straight note stem with four flags. The stem is drawn to the left of the note head going downward when the note is above or on the middle line of the staff. When the note head is below the middle line the stem is drawn to the right of the note head going upward. Multiple adjacent 64th notes may have the flags connected with a beam.

Numerous sixty-fourth notes beamed together

A similar, but rarely encountered symbol is the sixty-fourth rest (or hemidemisemiquaver rest, shown on the right of the image) which denotes silence for the same duration as a sixty-fourth note.

Notes shorter than a sixty-fourth note are very rarely used, though the hundred twenty-eighth note (otherwise known as the semihemidemisemiquaver or quasihemidemisemiquaver), and even shorter notes, are occasionally found.

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

Language note name rest name
Basque erdifusa
Catalan semifusa silenci de semifusa
Danish fireogtresindstyvendedelsnode fireogtresindstyvendedelspause
Dutch vierenzestigste noot vierenzestigste rust
French quadruple-croche seizième de soupir
German Vierundsechzigstelnote Vierundsechzigstelpause
Greek εξηκοστό τέταρτο παύση εξηκοστού τέταρτου
Italian semibiscroma pausa di semibiscroma
Norwegian sekstifiredelsnote
Polish sześćdziesięcioczwórka pauza sześćdziesięcioczwórkowa
Portuguese semifusa pausa de semifusa
Russian шестьдесят четвертая нота шестьдесят четвертая пауза
Serbian šezdesetčetvrtin(k)a / шездесетчетвртин(к)а šezdesetčetvrtinska pauza / шездесетчетвртинска пауза
Spanish semifusa silencio de semifusa

"Semifusa" derives from the mensural notation corresponding to the modern sixteenth note.

References[edit]

  • Morehen, John. 2001. "Hemidemisemiquaver". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Taylor, Eric. The Associated Board Guide to Music Theory (Part 1) (England: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (Publishing) Ltd, 1989) Chapter 3 (Continuing with Rhythm), pp. 15–20.