Note Names in the U.S. and U.K. - dummies

By Michael Pilhofer, Holly Day

Part of Music Theory For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In the world of music, you may encounter different names for the many notes used. The U.S. and U.K. standard terms differ, but the U.S. names — which were originally translated from the German names for the notes because so many German composers immigrated to the United States in the 19th century — are more universally standard. The U.K. names are also used in medieval music and in some classical circles. The following table shows the common notes and their U.S. and U.K. names.

U.S. Note Name Note U.K. Note Name
Double whole image0.jpg Breve
Whole image1.jpg Semibreve
Half image2.jpg Minim
Quarter image3.jpg Crotchet
Eighth image4.jpg Quaver
Sixteenth image5.jpg Semiquaver
Thirty-second image6.jpg Demisemiquaver