hemi·​demi·​semi·​qua·​ver ˌhe-mi-ˌde-mi-ˈse-mi-ˌkwā-vər How to pronounce hemidemisemiquaver (audio)

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Hemidemisemiquavers are the fastest musical notes that are commonly played, and performing them well can stretch human technique to its limit. The term is mainly used in Britain, where eighth notes are called "quavers," sixteenth notes are called "semiquavers," and thirty-second notes are called "demisemiquavers." In the United States, "hemidemisemiquaver" is likely to be used humorously, occurring especially as a clever substitute for "moment" or "bit," as in "the concert ended not a hemidemisemiquaver too soon."

Word History

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hemidemisemiquaver was in 1853


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Cite this Entry

“Hemidemisemiquaver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hemidemisemiquaver. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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