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The Whole Rest equals the duration of a Whole Note: 4 BEATS.
Whole Rests attach and hang from the next to highest line of the staff.
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You can imagine Whole Rests as being heavy, so heavy they fell through a Staff-Line. 
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Literally, a Whole Rest means to rest for the duration of 4 Beats.
However, the Whole Rest can also represent a complete measure of silence, regardless of the allocated number of beats in a measure.  
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Whole Rests in different Time Signatures are shown above.
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