How to read music  — How to read rhythms  — How to count music

Reading Rhythms - Counting Music
- how music is measured and counted -

Welcome to our page on Reading Rhythms and Counting Music.  It includes our free Counting Music activity that shows you how to count rhythms, and connects your knowledge of fractions and length to musical notes. 

How to play Counting Music: Scroll down until you see the activity below.  Using your mouse, click on the note and rest buttons in the same order they appear on your sheet music, and don't forget your ties.  Notice the ruler — it helps us see the length or duration of our musical notes. As soon as you fill up an entire measure (or inch), you may play your rhythm by pressing the bottom left "Play" button. 

To select a sound (i.e., voice or drum), press the toggle button on the left. 

To change the time signature, press on the top or bottom number you wish to change.  For example, to change 4/4 to 6/8, click on the bottom number (denominator) to change it to 8 — eighth notes will now be your chosen unit of measurement.  Then, click on the top number (numerator) to change it to 6 — each measure will now be comprised of 6 eighth notes.

TO DOWNLOAD THE READING RHYTHMS PDF, CLICK HERE. To use the rhythm sets from the Reading Rhythms PDF, press on the "Rhythms" button on the bottom of the activity, and click on the rhythm set number you wish to play. You will also hear excerpts from Peter and the Wolf, Morse Code words, ancient Aztec rhythm syllables, and drum language phrases from Ghana and the Congo.

Lastly, to save your own rhythms, simply click on the "Email It!" button on the bottom of the activity.  Once there, you can send your rhythms via email, and/or load rhythms that others have sent to you.  Now you're ready — let's count some music!

Counting Music






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