A Musical Rhythm
story for YOU!
Harvey the Whole Note was a very nice boy. The
only thing that was weird about him was that he
didn’t learn to walk and talk until he was in third
grade (he was kind of slow when he walked). When
he walked and talked he said “Ta-a-a-a.” Here is a
picture of Harvey the Whole Note:
Harvey had a little sister. Her name was
Henrietta the Half Note. She looked a lot like
Harvey, except that she LOVED to listen to the
radio. That explained her “antenna” always
sticking up. She didn’t walk or talk quite as
slow as Harvey. When she talked and walked
she said “Ta-a, Ta-a.” Here is a picture of
Henrietta the Half Note.
Can you see her
radio antenna?
Now, everyone knows somebody who has a little brother like
this. Quincy the Quarter Note was their little brother and oh,
man, was he into EVERYTHING! He always had a dirty face, he
never cleaned his room, he was kind of disgusting, but he was
the nicest little boy that you could ever meet. He loved to listen
to the radio, too, and guess what radio station he always tuned
to? The March Station! When he walked and talked he
marched, and said “Ta! Ta! Ta! Ta!” Here is a picture of Quincy
the Quarter Note.
(See his dirty face?
That’s how their
mom could tell it
was Quincy!)
Now the music family had some little twin brothers – Ed and
Ned the Eighth Notes! Of course they were into everything,
had dirty faces like Quincy, they ran around so fast, and they
were always holding hands, too! When they talked and jogged
around, they said “Ti-Ti, Ti-Ti, Ti-Ti, Ti-Ti!” Here are the
twins, Ed and Ned the Eighth Notes:
See how they are
always holding
hands? That’s called
the “beam.”
One day Ed and Ned the twins started Kindergarten. Well,
they were not in the same class and they cried and cried
because they couldn’t hold each other’s hand! Their mom
was very wise. She gave them each a flag to hold, and told
them to remember that their brother was right down the hall
when they held on to the flag. They both had a great day in
Kindergarten! Here is an eighth note by himself (holding
his flag!):
Can you see
the flag?
Well, did you know that all of these notes had some
BRAND NEW SISTERS? They were just babies, they
didn’t even have names yet, except they were called
“sixteenth notes.” They ran around SO FAST, and they
sounded like this: “Ti-bi, ti-bi, ti-bi, ti-bi!” Here are the
sixteenth notes (they have to hold hands twice, they are
running so fast!):
See the “double
beam” that holds
them together?
That means it’s
16th notes!
Did you notice something about the names of the notes in Harvey’s family?
All of the notes have FRACTION names! It’s because the length of the notes
are like fractions. The “whole” note is the longest sound, the “half” note is
half as long as the whole note, the quarter note is ¼ as long, the eighth note is
1/8 as long, and the sixteenth note is very tiny! See if this illustration will
help you see it:
Two half notes make a whole note. Four quarter notes equals
one whole note. Eight eighth notes equals one whole note, and
16 sixteenth notes equals one whole note. In math it’s called
“equivalent fractions.” In music we use those notes to make lots
of rhythms!
Now we will play some games to help us understand
note values and how they are like fractions!

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