Whole Rest in 2/4 Time

A whole rest in 2/4 time is used for a whole measure of silence.

Ever Wonder... Why Do We Use a Whole Rest in 2/4 Time?

Have you ever had a student ask "Why do we use a Whole Rest in 2/4 Time?" or "Why can't we use a Half Rest for a whole measure of silence in 2/4 Time?"?

Although a great answer is always "Blame Bach - he set the rules", it is nice to actually understand the reason behind the rule.

What is 2/4 Time?

2/4 Time is a Simple Duple Time Signature.

In a nutshell, a Simple Time Signature has a top (upper) number of 2, 3 or 4.

Duple means that there are 2 Basic Beats.

Therefore, with a top number of 2 in the Time Signature and 2 Basic Beats, 2/4 Time is a Simple Duple Time Signature.

The Whole Rest Rule

The Whole Rest Rule is - A Whole Rest is used for a Whole Measure of Silence in any Time Signature (except in 4/2 Time).

For Students to really "get" this, I like to have fun and say: "The Whole Rest Rule is - A WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE Rest is used for a WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE Measure of Silence in any Time Signature (except in 4/2 Time).". Really stretch out how long you say your "O" vowel so that it visually and aurally sounds like it is filling that measure.

It's All About the Pulse...

Music has a pulse.

  • In Simple Duple Time, that pulse is Strong Weak (S w).
  • In Simple Triple Time, that pulse is Strong Weak Weak (S w w).
  • In Simple Quadruple Time, that pulse is Strong Weak Medium Weak (S w M w).

whole_rest_in_2-4_time_3-4_time_and_4-4_timeIn 2/4 Time, it is more important to show that the Whole Measure is silent, and not that you just have 2 counts of silence.

In 3/4 Time, it is more important to show that the Whole Measure is silent, and not that you just have 3 counts of silence.

In 4/4 Time, even though the Whole Rest "technically" receives 4 counts, it is more important to still think of this as the Whole Measure being silent.

Whole Rest in 2/4 Time - can you use a whole note? Yes, a Half Note will fill a whole measure in 2/4 time with sound but you must use a Whole Rest to fill a whole measure in 2/4 with silence.

Why? Because  you must show the importance of that whole measure being silent. (Get it - WHOLE measure of silence? Use a WHOLE Rest!)

So why don't we use a Whole Note for a whole measure of sound in 2/4 Time?

Simple - the pulse for a Whole Note is 4 Beats: S + w + M + w. For a whole measure of sound in 2/4 Time, we need 2 Beats: S + w.

As silly as it may seem, you can use a Half Note in 2/4 Time, but you cannot use a Half Rest. You can use a Whole Rest in 2/4 Time, but you cannot use a Whole Note.

Introducing... Super Whole Rest!

whole_rest_in_2-4_time_-_introducing_super_whole_restI like to tell my students that the Whole Rest is the Super Rest! Yup, it has Super Powers and can make a Whole Measure be silent in any Time Signature (except in 4/2 time).

Rests have Rules.

umt-_whole_rest_in_2-4_timeWhen a student questions why, for example, they can have a dotted quarter note in 2/4 time, but not a dotted quarter rest, I explain that Rests have Rules.

These Rest Rules are based on the pulses (and we use the Plus + and Tilde ~ Signs to join or not join into one rest). Rest Rules are so important, we begin teaching the Rest Rules in Prep 1 Rudiments!

Notes are lucky - they can be syncopated and do lots of funky rhythms that rests can never ever do!

Remind your students that Rests have RULES!

Enjoy teaching your students that a Whole Rest is a Whole Measure of silence (and really stretch your "O"s)!

When your student gets to Basic Rudiments, you can add the exception to the rule.

Need to teach a Whole Rest in 2/4 Time? Use your Whiteboard!

Explaining to a student why we have to use a Whole Rest in 2/4 Time is EASY using your Whiteboard!

I know that I am part of the Ultimate Music Theory Team - but I would sing the praises of using the Large Teacher Whiteboard and the Small Student Whiteboard in the lesson even if I wasn't part of the team! When I pull out the Whiteboard, my students all know that they are going to:

  • Have Fun!
  • Learn a New Concept.
  • Review a Concept.
  • Have Fun Learning a New Concept!
  • Have Fun Reviewing a Concept!

And did I mention how much fun my students have with their Whiteboards? LOL. Please click here to see how you can easily get the Whiteboards for your Studio!

 

UMC-TRR

Teach Rhythm & Rests Online Course is a Teacher Training with 8 Video Sessions plus downloadable worksheets on Simple, Compound & Hybrid Time on Teaching Rests.

Teacher Training includes 8 video sessions covering:

  • Preparatory (Prep 1 & Prep 2)
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Intermediate Music Theory
  • Advanced Music Theory

Plus all your downloadable worksheets with examples and exercises for all 4 music theory levels.

Keep on Learning... With a Smile and a Song!

Shelagh McKibbon-U'Ren

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