- A sixteenth note.
“The flutes will come in with four measures of semiquavers after the break.”
“If the semiquavers are too fast for you to play while you’re learning the piece, we can slow down.”
“After the last semiquaver of piano is when the vocals need to come in.”
British English, late 16th century
Why this word?
If you took piano lessons as a child in the United States, “semiquaver” might be a new word for you. It’s the British musical notation version of a sixteenth note. Correspondingly, “quaver” is an eighth note, “crotchet” is a quarter note, “minim” is a half note, and “semibreve” is a whole note. “Semiquaver” is also used figuratively to refer to a very brief period of time, similar to the phrase “just a second.”
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