Rhythm Notation

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This lesson is part of the Fundamentals of Twelve-Tone Equal Temperament category.


  • Students will be able to play a short notated rhythm.
  • Students will be familiar with rhythmic symbols including: note shapes, rests, dots, ties.
  • Students will be proficient with basic rhythmic notation values (including explore to British equivalents).
  • Students will be familiar with tuplets.



Class Activities[edit]

  • Discussion of the symbology of rhythm in staff notation (including a short history)
  • Construction and performance of written rhythms
  • Rhythmic transcription of short excerpts of music from different genres and time periods
  • Beaming and substitution exercises
  • Rhythmic cell game where students repeat, imitation, embellish given rhythmic cells.


  • Matching recorded examples to written rhythms
  • Short rhythmic transcription
  • Duration/rest substitution exercises