In music notation, an eighth note represents one-half of a beat and is represented by a filled circle with a stem and one flag or beam. It is so named because it lasts for the duration of one eighth of a whole note. Also called a quaver.

A series of eighth notes on the staff looks something like this:

---| /-----------------------------------------------------
   |/                              |\                      
  /|            *    |/     *|     | | |\                  
|  |  |       \|     |     | |    *  | | |                 
 \ |  |       \|           |/         *  |                 

In musical terms, the third subdivision of the whole note.

It represents one eighth of one whole note, which breaks it down to eight eighth notes per measure in common time or 4/4.

This means that in 4/4 or common time (having four beats to the measure and the quarter note being worth one beat, as is indicated by the time signature itself) a whole note is worth four beats, a half note is worth two beats, and a quarter note is worth one beat.

Because of its exact placement in and around the downbeat, eighth notes are commonly used for drumline exercises. These exercises build exactness of timing, shape of attack, and rhythmic consistancy. The normal exercise calls for eight eighth notes played by the right hand, immediately followed by eight eighth notes on the left hand and then repeated once. Usually began at a medium pace and dynamic and then varied.

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