Play Note () for () Beats
play note () for () beats
Category Music
Type Stack
The piano keyboard for the block in Scratch 3.0.
The piano keyboard for the block in Scratch 2.0.

The Play Note () for () Beats block is a music block and a stack block. The block will play the specified note with the set instrument for the specified amount of beats.

This block was titled play note () for () secs prior to Scratch 1.2, but was changed with the introduction of the set tempo to () block.

The block will play any numbered note between C (0) and B♭ (130). While the block's keyboard graphic shows notes up to C (132), notes 131 and 132 cannot actually be selected, and a number outside the range given above cannot be typed into the block. If a number outside the available range is given to the block, through use of a variable or otherwise, the block will play the lowest or highest possible note, either 0 or 130, depending on whether the number is less than 0 or greater than 130, respectively.

While notes cannot be smaller than 0 or larger than 130, notes can be any decimal number within the aforementioned range. While unselectable on the piano keyboard, a decimal number can be inputted and a note will play at the appropriate frequency.

The maximum length a note can be played is 100 beats. Attempting to play a note for a longer duration will cause the note to only be held for 100 beats.[1]

Example Uses

As the block plays a note, it is widely used when a song is played with the music blocks. Some common uses for Play Note () for () Beats include:

  • Easy sound effects (numbers up to 130 still work); very high and low notes make interesting sounds
repeat until <(x) = [0]>
    play note (x) for (0.1) beats
    change [x v] by (-1)
  • Musical projects where you control instruments
    play note ((mouse y) mod (129)) for (0.1) beats
  • Creating a song made by blocks
repeat (2)
    play note (62) for (0.5) beats
repeat (2)
    play note (69) for (0.5) beats
repeat (2)
    play note (71) for (0.5) beats
play note (69) for (0.5) beats


The Play Note () for () Beats can sometimes be tricky to get used to since the notes and rhythms are notated with numbers, unlike sheet music. These diagrams may help:


The note names are written on the keys. Notes written in the two most common clefs (treble clef and bass clef) are connected to the piano. All notes can be written in an infinite number of ways. The most common enharmonic notes are included. A line going from a long red box means the notes go to the same key on the piano. Even though the drop-down keyboard on each block shows only one octave of notes, a number can be put in manually to get any note. To change octaves, simply add or subtract 12, or click on the arrows at the top of the keyboard.

There are 131 notes on Scratch's keyboard, numbered from 0 (C-1, about 8.18 Hz) to 130 (B♭9, about 14917.24 Hz). Each note is 1 number larger than the previous, and the ratio of frequency is always (approximately 1.06), with A4 being exactly 440 Hz.

Note Note number Frequency
C3 48 131 Hz
C♯3/D♭3 49 139 Hz
D3 50 147 Hz
D♯3/E♭3 51 156 Hz
E3 52 165 Hz
F3 53 175 Hz
F♯3/G♭3 54 185 Hz
G3 55 196 Hz
G♯3/A♭3 56 208 Hz
A3 57 220 Hz
A♯3/B♭3 58 233 Hz
B3 59 247 Hz
C4 (middle C) 60 262 Hz
C♯4/D♭4 61 277 Hz
D4 62 294 Hz
D♯4/E♭4 63 311 Hz
E4 64 330 Hz
F4 65 349 Hz
F♯4/G♭4 66 370 Hz
G4 67 392 Hz
G♯4/A♭4 68 415 Hz
A4 69 440 Hz
A♯4/B♭4 70 466 Hz
B4 71 494 Hz
C5 72 523 Hz


This table shows the beat number values for the most common rhythms in the most common time signatures, interpreted in the most basic way.

SVGSemibreve.svg SVGDottedMinim.svg SVGMinim.svg DottedCrotchet.svg SVGCrotchet.svg SVGTripletCrotchet.svg SVGDottedQuaver.svg SVGQuaver.svg SVGripletQuaver.svg SVGDottedSemiQuaver.svg SVGSemiQuaver.svg
SVGTimeSig4-4.svg or SVGTimeSigCommonTime.svg 4 3 2 1.5 1 0.75 0.5 0.375 0.25
SVGTimeSig3-8.svg 8 6 4 3 2 1⅓ 1.5 1 0.75 0.5
SVGTimeSig2-2.svg or SVGTimeSigCutTime.svg 2 1.5 1 0.75 0.5 0.375 0.25 0.1875 0.125

See Also


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