- Notes of
note length crotchet, minim or any type
of quaver have a stem going up or down from the circle (the head
of the note).
- The stem is drawn from the right of the
if going up, and from the left of the
note if going down.
- This is a fixed rule which should never be broken.
- The stem could be described as a tangent, going vertically
from the far left or right point of the circle.
- If there is only one
part on the
stave, then the stem of a
note normally goes up or down according to
its vertical position on the stave:
- If the note is in the lower half
of the stave (below the middle line),
then the stem goes upwards.
- If the note is in the upper half
of the stave (above the middle line),
then the stem goes downwards.
- If the note is on the middle line,
the stem can go up or down, and will generally be matched
to any notes around it.
- These are not hard and fast rules, and may not be followed
for practical reasons, e.g. if a printed musical direction
of some sort gets in the way, the tail may be
printed the other way from this standard.
- If there is more than one
part on the
stave, the tails of the upper part
will all go up, and the tails of the lower part will all go down:
- There is no written rule on the length of a stem, but for a minim,
crotchet or stand-alone quaver (with a tail rather than a
beam), it is
normally about the equivalent of three vertical spaces in length (i.e.
just over half the height of the stave. This
length can vary for quavers which are beamed
together, and will often (by
necessity) be longer for quavers with several tails or
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