Grade 5 Music Theory Notes you need to Know

By Jade Bultitude
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ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory requires pupils to know a variety of different note and rest types. These are mostly covered in grade 1-4 but I have found that my students like to revise them to make sure they know what they all are.

Check out out complete list of Grade 5 Music Theory Notes and rests you need to know, from demisemiquavers to triplets to breves!

Want to learn more about Grade 5 Music Theory, have a look at our in-depth guide to ABRSM Grade 5.

Notes (UK)

Crotchets 

Crotchets are worth one beat. 

Crotchet Notes

Minim 

A Minim is worth two beats or 1 minim = 2 crotchets. 

Minin Notes

Semibreve

A semibreve is worth 4 beats or 4 crotchets. You can also think of it as 1 semibreve = 2 minims.

Semibreve Note

Breve

A breve is worth 8 beats or 8 crotchets. It is the same length as 2 semibreves.

Breve Note

Quaver

We are getting smaller now tied quavers. A quaver is worth 1/2 a beat. Or 2 quavers = 1 crotchet. 

Quaver Notes

Semiquaver

Semiquavers are with half of a quavers. 2 semiquavers = 1 quavers, or 4 semiquavers = 1 crotchet

Semiquaver Notes

Demisemiquaver

Demisemiquavers are half the length of semiquavers. So 2 demisemiquavers = 1 semiquaver and 8 demisemiquavers = 1 crotchet. 

Demisemiquaver Notes

Rests (UK)

Here are a list of the rests that match each note. These are in UK terminology. 

Rests

Dotted Notes and Rests (UK)

Dotted notes and rests have one and a half times the value of the original note. You could say the dot adds half the value again to the note/rest. 

For example a dotted crotchet is worth 1 and 1/2 beats. 

A dotted semibreve is work 6 beats (as a semibreve is worth 4 on its own). 

Here are a list of the main dotted notes and their values. 

Here is a list of the main dotted rests and their values. 

Dotted Notes and Rests

Double Dotted Notes and Rests (UK)

Double dotted notes hold 1 and 3/4 of the value of the original note. The first dot adds half the value of the crotchet, which is a quaver. The second dot add half the value of the quaver, which is a semiquaver. So the note is worth 1 crotchet + 1 quaver + 1 semiquaver OR 1 and 3/4 beats. 

Here is a diagram with all the main double-dotted notes and their values, 

Double Dotted Notes and Rests

Triplets and Duplets (UK)

Triplets are shown with a small ‘3’ above a group of three notes. This shows the player that these 3 notes should be played in the space of 2. 

For example, below we have three quavers as a triplet. This means the 3 quavers should be played in the space of 2 quavers. We can do this when we have a simple time signature, such as 4/4, where are beats would usually divide into two quavers. 

Triplets

Here is an example of a triplet using semiquavers. Here the three semiquavers are played in the space of two semiquavers.

Semiquaver Triplet

Duplets shown as two notes with a small ‘2’ above them. They are the opposite of triplets, meaning that we have two notes being played in the space of three. This can be useful when playing in a compound time signature where each strong beat should divide into 3. 

Duplets

Notes (US)

  • Quarter notes (crotchet) are worth one count.
  • Half Notes (minims) are worth two counts.
  • Whole notes (semibreve) are worth four counts.
  • Double Whole Notes (Breve) are worth eight counts.
  • Eighth notes (quavers) are worth half a count.
  • Sixteenth notes (semiquavers) are worth a quarter of a count. 
  • Thirty-second notes (demisemiquavers) are worth an eighth or a count.
Note Names (US)

Rests (US)

Here are a list of the rests that match each note. These are in US terminology. 

Rests (US)

Dotted Notes and Rests (US)

Dotted notes and rests have one and a half times the value of the original note. You could say the dot adds half the value again to the note/rest. 

For example a dotted quarter note is works 1 and 1/2 counts. 

A dotted whole note is work 6 counts (as a whole note is worth 4 on its own). 

Here are a list of the main dotted notes and their values. 

Here is a list of the main dotted rests and their values. 

Dotted Notes and Rests (US)

Double Dotted Notes and Rests (US)

Double dotted notes hold 1 and 3/4 of the value of the original note. Have a look at the example below.

The first dot adds half the value of the quarter note, which is an eighth note. The second dot add half the value of the eighth note, which is a sixteenth note. So the note is worth 1 quarter note + 1 eighth note + 1 sixteenth note OR 1 and 3/4 counts. 

Here is a diagram with all the main double-dotted notes and their values.

Double Dotted Notes and Rests

Triplets and Duplets (US)

Triplets are shown with a small ‘3’ above a group of three notes. This shows the player that these 3 notes should be played in the space of 2. 

For example, below we have three eighth notes as a triplet. This means the 3 eighth notes should be played in the space of 2 eighth notes. We can do this when we have a simple time signature, such as 4/4, where are counts would usually divide into two eighth notes. 

Triplets (US)

Duplets shown as two notes with a small ‘2’ above them. They are the opposite of triplets, meaning that we have two notes being played in the space of three. This can be useful when playing in a compound time signature where each strong beat should divide into 3. 

Duplets (US)
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AUTHOR
Jade is an experienced musician and teacher as well as being the founder of Music Theory Foundations. She has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.