Rests Symbols of Silence
Like notes, rests are placed on the lines and spaces of the staff. Depending upon the symbol used, rests tell the performer when not to play and how long to remain silent. Also like notes, while rests possess a measured space of time, the performer must mentally maintain a count of the beat and tempo referring to the time signature to properly interpret the rest’s value of time. As with notes, some rests will have a flag depending upon it’s time value. Each flag on a rest cuts its time value in half. Refer to the illustrations below for the common rests and their use.
tells the performer the number of measures not to play with a numeral above a horizontal line on the staff, normally placed in the 2nd or 3rd space.
A whole rest
is placed under 3rd the line of the staff instructing the performer to remain silent for the entire measure.
A half rest
is placed above the 2nd line of the staff instructing the performer to remain silent for one-half of the measure.
A quarter rest
centers on the third line of the staff instructing the performer to remain silent for one-quarter of the measure.
instructs the performer to remain silent for one-eighth of the measure.
A Dotted rest
instructs the performer to extend the rest’s length of time by one-half its existing value.