Term 1 Theory Lessons & Quiz

2 Dotted Notes and Ties

The Dot

dot can be used to change the duration of a note or rest. A dot adds half of the value of the note it is attached to. For example, a quarter note (in common time) is worth one beat. If we make it a dotted quarter note, half of the value of the quarter note (which is an eighth note) is added to the quarter note's value. Look at the example:

This same logic applies to any note with a dot.

A half note is worth 2 beats. The dot adds half of that value (1 beat). Therefore, a dotted half note is worth 3 beats.

A whole note is worth 4 beats. The dot adds half of that value (2 beats). Therefore, a dotted whole note is worth 6 beats.

An eighth note is worth 1/2 a beat. The dot adds half of that value (1/4 beat). Therefore, a dotted eighth note is worth 3/4 of a beat.

The Tie

tie is a line that is drawn to connect two (or more) of the same note. It indicates that the note should be held for the full value of the tied notes. You do not rearticulate. Usually it's used if a note needs to be held over a barline. Ties generally only connect 2 notes, but if the note is to be sustained for a long time, it may be shown as several whole notes tied over as many bars as necessary.

The tie is often confused with the slur. A slur is an articulation marking that indicates you should move between the notes included in the slur as smoothly as possible. A slur connects notes that are different and can be drawn over a whole line or musical phrase. This is different from a tie which only connects notes that are the same.


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