Sixty-fourth note

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In music notation, a 64th note (American) or hemidemisemiquaver (British) is a note played for 1/64 of the duration of a whole note (or semibreve). It lasts half as long as a 32nd note (or demisemiquaver).

Hemidemisemiquaver.png

64th 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 64th rest (or hemidemisemiquaver rest, shown on the right of the image) which denotes silence for the same duration as a 64th note.

Notes shorter than a 64th note are very rarely used, though the 128th 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
Catalan semifusa silenci de semifusa
Dutch vierenzestigste noot vierenzestigste rust
German Vierundsechzigstelnote Vierundsechzigstelpause
French quadruple-croche seizième de soupir
Italian semibiscroma pausa di semibiscroma
Spanish semifusa silencio de semifusa
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

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

Reference and 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), p. 15-20.