Writing Rests #7 – Thirty-Second Rest

Writing Rests - Thirty-Second 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
  5. Writing Rests Blog Series #5 - How to Write an Eighth Rest
  6. Writing Rests Blog Series #6 - How to Write a Sixteenth Rest

In the seventh blog in this Writing Rests Blog Series, we explore How to Write a Thirty-Second 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 a Thirty-Second Rest is to rest one thirty-second the time value of a whole rest. 

Music Notes are Fractions:  A Whole Note = 2 Half Notes = 4 Quarter Notes = 8 Eighth Notes = 16 Sixteenth Notes = 32 Thirty-Second Notes.

UMT - Where do we learn how to write a 32nd Rest

Writing Rests Blog #7 - Thirty-Second Rest

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

A Thirty-Second Rest is also called:

  • a demisemiquaver rest (in England)
  • a pausa di biscroma (in Italian)
  • a huitième de soupir (in French)
  • a Zweiunddreißigstelpause (in German)
  • a silencio de fusa (in Spanish)

Sorry guys, but I'm not even going to attempt to say that in German!

UMT Writing Thirty-Second Rests computer versus By Hand

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 took me hours to write every single one of these Blog Rest examples "by hand" (using my computer mouse and the pencil app).  So, although I could not actually write "by hand with a pencil" straight into this Computer Blog, I did every one of these "by hand" examples by hand with my pencil app thing-a-ma-bob.  (Yup, I'm not exactly tech-savvy - LOL.)

How to Write a Thirty-Second Rest by Hand

A Thirty-Second Rest looks like an Eighth Rest with 2 more hooks!

There are 2 different opinions on the correct way to write the Thirty-Second Rest.

  1. Drawing that upper line (the "hook") up to touch Staff Line #5.
  2. Drawing that upper line (the "hook") to end in the middle of Space #4.

Both ways are correct.

No matter where you like to end that upper hook, it cannot extend up above the Staff.  The bottom of the Thirty-Second Rest cannot extend down below Line #1 either.

Did you notice that this Rest does not "start" in Rest Party Space #3 (like all the other rests)?  This was a struggle for me to remember, so I kept saying to myself "32nd Rest has dots in top 3 spaces".

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!  Using your Ultimate Music Theory Whiteboard is a great way to practice writing (drawing) rests correctly.

UMT Writing 32nd Rest - Acceptable

Writing Rests Blog Series 7 - Spot the Boo-Boos!

Making Boo-Boos are a part of learning.  When we make a mistake (a Boo-Boo), the world does not end, the pencil does not explode... we just fix it!  This is why Theory should always be completed in Pencil.

I've written 3 Incorrect Thirty-Second Rests - can you spot the reason why they are incorrect?

UMT Writing 32nd Rests - Spot the Boo-Boo

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 BONUS Writing Rests Blog Series #8 - The Sixty-Fourth 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
  • Writing Rests Blog #5 - Eighth Rest
  • Writing Rests Blog #6 - Sixteenth Rest

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Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren


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