"Crotchet" redirects here. For the needlework technique, see Crochet.
"Negra" redirects here. For other uses, see La Negra and Negro.

A quarter note (American) or crotchet (British, from the sense 'hook') is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note (or semibreve). Often, musicians will say that a crotchet is one beat, however, this is not always correct, as the beat is indicated by the time signature of the music; a quarter note may or may not be the beat. Quarter notes are notated with a filled-in oval note head and a straight, flagless stem. The stem usually points upwards if it is below the middle line of the stave or downwards if it is on or above the middle line. However, the stem direction may differentiate more than one part. The head of the note also reverses its orientation in relation to the stem. (See image.)


In Unicode, the symbol is U+2669 ().

Template:Duple note values

A related value is the quarter

The note derives from the semiminima of mensural notation. The word crotchet comes from Old French crochet, meaning 'little hook', diminutive of croc, 'hook', because of the hook used on the note in black notation. However, because the hook appeared on the eighth note (or quaver) in the later white notation, the modern French term croche refers to an eighth note.

It is played for half the length of a minim (or "half note") and twice that of a quaver (an "eighth note"). It is one beat in a bar of 4/4. The term quarter note is a calque (loan translation) of the German term Viertelnote. The names of this note (and rest) in most languages are calqued from the same source:

Language note name rest name
Catalan negra silenci de negra
Croatian četvrtinka četvrtinska pauza
Czech čtvrťová nota čtvrťová pauza
Danish fjerdedelsnode fjerdedelspause
Dutch kwartnoot kwartrust
French noire soupir
Galego negra silencio de negra
German Viertelnote Viertelpause
Greek Tetarto (τέταρτο) Pausi tetartou (παύση τετάρτου)
Italian semiminima pausa di semiminima
Norwegian fjerdedelsnote fjerdedelspause
Polish ćwierćnuta pauza ćwierćnutowa
Portuguese semínima pausa de semínima
Russian четвертная нота четвертная пауза
Serbian četvrtin(k)a / четвртин(к)а četvrtinska pauza/ четвртинска пауза
Slovak štvrťová nota štvrťová pomlčka
Spanish negra silencio de negra
Swedish fjärdedelsnot fjärdedelspaus
Finnish Neljäsosanuotti Neljäsosatauko
Turkish dörtlük nota dörtlük es
Chinese 四分音符 四分休止符
Japanese 4分音符 4分休符
Thai โน๊ตตัวดำ ตัวหยุดตัวดำ

The Galician, Catalan, French and Spanish names for the note (all of them meaning "black") derive from the fact that the semiminima was the longest note to be colored in mensural white notation, which is true as well of the modern form.

The Greek and Chinese names mean "quarter" (for the note) and "quarter's pause" (for the rest).


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.