Beam (music)

Beam (music)

A beam in musical notation is constructed as one or more lines used to connect multiple consecutive eighth notes (quavers), sixteenth notes (semiquavers), or smaller note values. Some notes cannot be connected because of the time signature. Beams usually connect notes of the same duration, but may connect any combination of notes otherwise written with flags. Quarter notes (crochets) and notes of longer value cannot be connected.

In classical vocal music beams are only used when multiple notes encompass a single syllable of a word. In modern engraving practice it is common place to use standard beams regardless of the words and use slurs to indicate multiple notes encompassing a single syllable. [ [ Standard Music Notation Practice] "Music Publishers' Association of the United States" (Accessed: 10 September 2008)]


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