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Music Is Eighth Notes

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Anyone fluent in music knows that sheet is a complex writing system that takes months to learn to read.

In drawn fiction, when someone plays an instrument or sings or whistles, the music is "seen" as eighth notes (♪), or quavers, regardless of what's being played or sung. Mostly a single eighth note with the stem up, but there can be the occasional pair of eighth notes sharing a flag.

It's so prevalent that many computer character sets include it, including Unicode.

Cartoonists untrained in music love this trope, mostly because an eighth note is immediately and unambiguously recognizable by laity as musical notation. Also, it's one of the most common markings in written melodies.

Video Games tends to also use them in order to represent singing in a work without voice-acting.

The alternative symbols to denote music, or give them a bit of melodic harmony would be the beamed eighth notes (♫) and the G-clef (𝄞).

Note that it's only an example of this trope if the eighth notes explicitly represent the presence of music in one way or another. Simply being there isn't enough for it to be an example of this trope.


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    Comic Strips 
  • A gag in Garfield involves an Ear Worm Jon inadvertently gave to Garfield. The Earworm's represented by a single eighth note.
  • Nero: A recurring character called Amadeus Moderato is a violinist who has a double quaver for a moustache.
  • Zig-zagged in Peanuts: Sometimes Schroeder's piano playing will be represented by one or two eighth notes, usually when the joke is Snoopy or another character interacting with them as though they're physical. Other times it will be a full Beethoven score, with the joke being that he's somehow playing this on a toy piano.

    Fan Works 
  • The Palaververse: A Song for Orthus: Sweetie Belle is singing in the cover image, due to a soundwave representation and quavers coming from her face / mouth.


    Video Games 
  • Adventure Story: A speaker and green this is used to represent the music and sound options in the Options menu.
  • In the Drawn series of adventure games, a couple of puzzles require you to either collect, or strike in sequence, metal eighth-note pieces to access new areas that have a musical motif.
  • Everybody Edits has note blocks, which are all eight notes. Granted, it's the only type of note that can be played.
  • The Heart Pumps Clay: One of the official screenshots is of Talking Animal Crow's lines, which are bracketed by eighth notes, and are mocking the listener, so it's implied to be in a singsong-y tone of mockery.
  • Kirby series:
    • The jukebox feature of Kirby: Triple Deluxe has eight notes coming from the visible jukebox on the top screen while a piece of in-game music plays (as well as, oddly enough, treble clefs).
    • One of the miniboss Mr. Tick-Tock's attacks involve sending eighth notes towards Kirby. Kirby needs to use these notes to attack him if he fights Mr. Tick-Tock without a copy ability. Mr. Tick-Tock is an example of this trope because he gives the Mike ability upon being inhaled (a copy ability that involves Kirby "singing" into three different types of microphones).
    • The recurring mike enemy Walky attacks by singing a "tasteless tune" (represented by eighth notes and, more recently, treble clefs) to his opponents.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask plays with this trope by having the Zora offspring be the eighth notes. More specifically, they arrange themselves in a certain way, then pose as eighth notes (Zora offspring resemble tadpoles in terms of appearance) so that they could teach Link a new song.
  • The jukebox tab within the options menu of Locomotion is represented by four eighth notes on a score.
  • Pokémon:
    • The parrot Pokémon Chatot, normally associated with sound and music, has a head in the shape of an eighth note.
    • In addition, music-related attacks such as Sing, Grass Whistle and Perish Song are usually depicted this way.
  • Variation: In Nintendo's Popeye Arcade Game, the second level has Popeye collecting sixteenth notes from Olive Oyl.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: When Aeyr walks up to ??? to talk to him, he has a Pictorial Speech-Bubble with a pair of eighth notes sharing a flag. Presumably that means he was whistling a tune.
  • In the Scribblenauts series, musical objects make characters show eighth notes.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: The animated representing image for "Hero Mode" has eighth notes appearing and fading out to represent the music of the Magic Dances of Voluntary Shapeshifting that distinguish the mode from the base game:
    Replay the adventure with your main transformations unlocked!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Shuffle, when Chao sings as an attack, eighth notes float from his head.
    • In Sonic Lost World, the Magenta Wisp resembles an eighth note. In addition, its Wisp power turns Sonic into one and allows him to climb notation bars as if he's following the bouncy ball.
  • The Dingle boss in the remake of The Binding of Isaac whistles to summon mooks. The audio is accompanied visually by a few eighth notes.
  • In Sticky Business, two of the music sticker parts you can buy are solo and dual eighth notes.
  • Terraria has the Magical Harp, a weaponized harp that fires projectiles that graphically resemble eighth notes when playing it.


    Western Animation 
  • The Big Garage: In the animated tools segment of “Sounds Funny To Me”, the Saw’s singing is visually accompanied by eighth notes radiating from her blade.
  • In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed's violin playing manifests itself like this at times. At one point, they collide with Eddy's head hard to reflect his irritation with the cacophony. Once Ed increases the tempo, a barrage of notes proceeds to slam into Eddy's head and bury him.
  • Subverted in the Chuck Jones cartoon "High Note", which has fun anthropomorphizing all the various types of musical notation (turning a rest sign into a dog, for instance).
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a minor character named Vinyl Scratch, a unicorn DJ, has two attached eighth notes as her cutie mark, while her fellow musician earth pony, the Elegant Classical Musician Octavia Melody, has a pink G-clef cutie mark.