Music Press Distress | Music Theory Arcade Game (Rhythms)

from the Music Theory Arcade

The music printing press has gone berserk! Help Oliver catch all the notes that are flying from the printing press to print the music books. But watch out! Three bonks on the head, or three incorrect answers, end the game.

Play Music Press Distress Music Theory Arcade Game and learn to drill six basic rhythms, including the whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, dotted half note, and dotted quarter note. Music Press Distress features Oliver the Octopus and the gang.


Click Start. Select the rhythms that you'd like to practice. Click Play. See "Expanded Instruction" below if more explanation is required.

Expanded Instructions

Set Up

Click the Set Up button to select one of two options: Beginner (Whole Note, Half Note, Quarter Note) or Advancing (Dotted Half Note, Dotted Quarter Note, Eighth Note). The Beginner level is best for piano, guitar, band and orchestra students, who are just getting started. Advancing will support students in their second or third year of study, depending on the amount of time they're investing in practice.


To play, read the message in the box to find out how many beats to catch. Next, move the mouse to the right or left to place Oliver the Octopus under the notes that are flying from the printing press. When Oliver has caught the correct number of beats, move him to the right (under the chute) and click rapidly to send the notes back into the music press. Click Undo if you've caught too many beats.

Rhythm Values

Whole Note - 4 Beats
Dotted Half Note - 3 Beats
Half Note - 2 Beats
Dotted Quarter Note - 1 1/2 beats
Quarter Note - 1 Beat
Eighth Note - 1/2 Beat

Goal: Earn as many points as you can before time runs out or you get three X's.

Who is Music Press Distress Music Theory Arcade Game for?

Music Press Distress was created for elementary school age music students to help them build a strong musical foundation. This music theory game is designed to make the repetition required to learn basic rhythmic values fun.