In music, the beat is the basic unit of time, and the pulse of the song. if you tap your foot to a song you a self-consciously finding the beat. In melodies to songs, notes and rests are categorized by how many beats they have. There are five main values that you will see when reading music. A whole note, is held for 4 beats, and a whole rest is held for 4 beats of silence. A half note is held for 2 beats, and the rest for 2 beats of silence. Quarter note/ rest is held for 1 beat. Eighth note/rest is held for half of a beat, and finally a sixteenth note/ is held for a quarter of a beat. This is what they look like.