## What is Rewriting?

We can rewrite a melody using different value notes, without changing the rhythm. For example, here’s a rhythm in 3/4:

And here’s the same rhythm in 3/2:

The rhythm itself hasn’t changed – only the type of note used as the main beat has changed.

The time signature changes – but only the lower number. This is because we have kept the same number of beats per bar (3), and we have only changed the type of beat from a crotchet (quarter note) in the first example, to a minim (half note) in the second example.

A minim (half note) is worth two crotchets (quarters), so all the notes in the second example are twice the value of those in the first one. The notes in the first example are half the value.

Rhythms written at twice the value use slower note values.

Be careful! If we write a rhythm in notes of half the value, we double the bottom number. If we write a rhythm in notes of twice the value, we halve the bottom number. This might seem a little strange at first!

## Table of Time Signatures

For the grade three ABRSM exam, you only need to know about these time signatures for this question:

(Compound time signatures will not come up in this part of the exam.)

## Table of Note Durations

 Twice the Value Original Note Half the Value – –

Dotted notes don’t need any special treatment. Just copy the dot over to the new note value.

## Table of Rest Durations

 Twice the Value Original Rest Half the Value – –

## Typical ABRSM Grade 3 Exam questions

You will be asked the select the answer which shows a correctly re-written rhythm. Here is an example:

• Check the time signatures.
• On a piece of rough paper, draw a table showing the new note values you’ll need. (For example, if the rewriting is at half the value, write=> . Use this for reference as you do the question – it will help to avoid mistakes.
• Check each note/rest against your table.
• Look carefully at the details such as dots, number of beams, triplet numbers, ties and also check the pitch of the notes has not changed.

## Rhythm Rewriting Exercises

Hover your mouse over the questions (tap on mobiles) to reveal the answers.

## Exercise 1 – Rewriting at Twice the Value

Write out these melodies in notes and rests of twice the value. Remember to put in the new time signature.
a)

b)

## Exercise 2 – Rewriting at Half the Value

Write out these melodies in notes and rests of half the value. Remember to put in the new time signature.
a)

b)