Monty Python and Musical Terms

I’m taking a (free) online Fundamentals of Music Theory class from University of Edinburgh through Coursera, and am really enjoying it. Especially this week.

This week was all about rhythm and meter. I did not know that not everyone calls notes by the same names. And the Brit terms are freaking hilarious! I thought so anyway. I honestly thought that it was some kind of April Fool’s joke or a Monty Python sketch and at any moment a big cartoon foot was going to come down from the sky and squash the lecturer.

Here’s the order they were explained in, and my reactions:

Whole note = semibreve (which means half brief, which makes no sense to me whatsoever, but okay.)

Half note = Minim (this is when I started wondering if he was serious)

Quarter note = Crotchet (I started to giggle. Seriously?)

Eighth note = Quaver (Who came up with these names???)

Sixteenth note = Semiquaver (Of course!)

Thirty-secondth note = Demisemiquaver (I lost it! Howling with laughter. How is this guy keeping a straight face?)

Sixty-fourth note = wait for it… Hemidemisemiquaver! (I had to pause the video until I could stop laughing! Where is the foot? This has got to be a Monty Python sketch! If it isn’t, it should be!)

Thank goodness he stopped there. I don’t think I could have taken anymore.

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