, a half note
is a note
played for one half the duration of a whole note
, hence the name. Half notes are notated with a hollow oval note head (like a whole note) and a straight note stem with no flags
(like a quarter note
; see Figure 1). A similar symbol is the half rest
, which denotes a silence for the same duration. Half rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles sitting on top of the middle line of the musical staff
. As with all notes with stems, half notes are drawn with stems to the right of the notehead, facing up, when they are below the middle line of the staff. When they are on or above the middle line, they are drawn with stems on the left of the note head, facing down.
Figure 1. A half note with stem facing up, a half note with stem facing down, and a half rest.
See also: whole note, quarter note, eighth note, musical notation