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Eighth note
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Eighth note

In music, an eighth note or a quaver is a note played for one eighth the duration of a whole note, hence the name.

Eighth notes are notated with an oval, filled-in note head and a straight note stem with one flag. (see Figure 1). A related symbol is the eighth rest (or quaver rest), which denotes a silence for the same duration.

As with all notes with stems, the general rule is that eighth notes are drawn with stems to the right of the notehead, facing up, when they are below the middle line of the musical staff. When they are on or above the middle line, they are drawn with stems on the left of the note head, facing down.

Flags are always on the right side of the stem, and curve to the right. On stems facing up, the flag starts at the top and curves down; for downward facing stems, the flags start at the bottom of the stem and curve up. When multiple eighth notes or sixteenth notes (or thirty-second notes, etc.) are next to each other, the stems may be connected with a beam rather than a flag, like the notes in Figure 2.

Figure 1. An eighth note with stem facing up, an eighth note with stem facing down, and an eighth rest.

Figure 2. Four eighth notes beamed together.

See also: whole note, half note, quarter note, sixteenth note, musical notation, dotted note, dotted eighth, triplet, swung eighth