Duration |
Music Terms

Duration |

Dictionary categories
terms and concepts

Duration is a property of sound that depends on the duration of the vibration of the sound source. The absolute duration of a sound is measured in units of time. In music, the relative duration of sounds is of the utmost importance. The ratio of different durations of sounds, manifested in meter and rhythm, underlies musical expressiveness.

The symbols for relative duration are conventional signs – notes: brevis (equal to two whole notes), whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, sixty-fourth (shorter durations are rarely used). Additional signs can be attached to notes – dots and leagues, increasing their duration according to certain rules. From an arbitrary (conditional) division of the main durations, rhythmic groups are formed; these include duol, triplet, quartole, quintuplet, sextol, septol, etc. See Sheet music, Musical notation.

V. A. Vakhromeev

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