Writing Rests #5 – Eighth Rest

Writing Rests - Eighth Rest - Ultimatemusictheory.com

Welcome to the Ultimate Music Theory Blog Series on How to Write Rests.

  1. Writing Rests Blog Series #1 - How to Write a Breve Rest
  2. Writing Rests Blog Series #2 - How to Write a Whole Rest
  3. Writing Rests Blog Series #3 - How to Write a Half Rest
  4. Writing Rests Blog Series #4 - How to Write a Quarter Rest

In the fifth blog in this Writing Rests Blog Series, we explore How to Write an Eighth Rest.

This Series explores how to write the rests properly by hand.  It is not about when we write particular rests.  If you have any concern, either as a Student or as a Teacher, about what rests should be used, Ultimate Music Theory has lots of ways to help:

  1. Teach Rhythm and Rests - This online course is perfect for giving you confidence as a Teacher.  You will discover how to easily determine the division of rhythm & rests.
  2. Complete Music Theory Course - This online course is a great "refresher" course for Teachers and is perfect for Senior Students who wish to prepare for entrance to any Post-Secondary School for Music.
  3. Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course - Want to take your Teaching to the next level of Excellence? This online course will do that.  Join the hundreds of UMTC Certified Teachers around the world who have expanded their Studios and their Teaching Confidence.

The Dolmetsch Online Music Dictionary says that an Eight Rest is to rest one eighth the time value of a whole rest.  (Do you see the math in these values? I love it! A Whole Note = 2 Half Notes = 4 Quarter Notes = 8 Eighth Notes.  Guess how many Sixteenth Notes will it equal?)

UMT - Where to learn about Eighth Rests

Writing Rests Blog #5 - Eighth Rest

Rests are an important part of music.  Rhythm uses notes and rests, sound and silence.

An Eighth Rest is also called:

  • a quaver rest (in England)
  • a pausa di croma (in Italian)
  • a demi-soupir (in French)
  • an Achtelpause (in German)
  • a silencio de corchea (in Spanish)

Have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter what language you speak, music is played the same in England, in Italy, in France, in Germany, in Spain, and in any other country in the world.  (The language that you speak does not affect how you play Handel's Sarabande in d minor, or how it sounds.)

UMT Writing Eighth Rests - 2 Different Options

The Norton Manual of Music Notation states that "Rests should be drawn to resemble those found in engraved music as closely as possible".

Engraved Music today is typically music that is written using a Computer Program.  It is actually a bit tricky to draw an Eighth Rest by hand so that it looks just like the Eighth Rest that is written using a program like Finale.

How to Write an Eighth Rest by Hand

I am pretty certain that if we brought 10 Teachers into a Zoom Room and asked them to show how they teach their Students to draw an Eighth Rest, we would have 2 different opinions:

  1. Drawing that upper line (the "hook") up to touch Staff Line #4.
  2. Drawing that upper line (the "hook") to end in the middle of Space #3.

Which way were you taught?

Were you taught to "swoop" that hook (curving up to the top of the rest)?  Or is your hook a straight line from the dot to the top of the Eighth Rest?  (Either is acceptable.)

No matter where you like to end that upper hook, it cannot extend up into Space #4.  The bottom of the Eighth Rest cannot extend down into Space #1 either.

As the Examiner for the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course, I see so many sloppy rests.  Please practice how to draw these rests!  If you cannot draw them properly, you will struggle to teach your Students how to draw them properly.

We should not be sloppy Teachers!

UMT Eighth Rest Acceptable

Writing Rests Blog Series 5 - Which Way is Correct?

Oh, what a hot topic!  Which way is the correct way to write that Eighth Rest?

All I can say is that it is important to be consistent when writing it and when teaching our Students how to write it.

I prefer to write the Eighth Rest so that that #7 top line (the "hook") touches Staff Line #4, and ends at Staff Line #2.  Having to touch those 2 Staff Lines keeps me grounded.

In the Comments Section, I would love to hear how you teach this!  However you choose to write your Eighth Rest (with the hook stopping on Staff Line #4 or with the hook stopping in Rest Party Space #3), be consistent.  Always write it that way.  (Either is acceptable.)

UMT Writing Rests Blog 5 - Eighth Rest Memory Jogger

The Writing Rests Blog Series

This Blog Series will be focusing on how to write rests, and not on WHAT rest to write.  Each Blog also has a matching Worksheet (with a corresponding Answer Sheet).  To get these resources, join the Ultimate Music Theory Membership!

Thank you for reading!  I look forward to seeing you in the Writing Rests Blog Series #6 - The Sixteenth Rest Blog.

And, if you missed it, please remember to check out:

  • Writing Rests Blog #1 - Breve Rest
  • Writing Rests Blog #2 - Whole Rest
  • Writing Rests Blog #3 - Half Rest
  • Writing Rests Blog #4 - Quarter Rest

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Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


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