What Are Dotted Notes?

By adding a dot beside a given note value, you "1.5x" its time value. It's just a musical piece of grammar that's useful to know.


Example 1: There is a whole note worth 4 beats. If you "dot" that whole note, 4 multiplied by 1.5 equals 6, so the dotted whole note is instead valued at 6 beats rather than 4.

Example 2: A half note is normally worth 2 beats, so when you dot a half note, it's worth 3 beats instead.

Example 3: A quarter note is worth 1 beat, so when you dot a quarter note, it's worth 1.5 beats instead.

What Are Ties Between Notes?

Another way of modifying the value of notes is using "ties".

If notes are "tied", you actually play the notes as a single note, and combine their time values.

Ties are especially handy, because you can connect notes across bar lines.


Example 1: You can see two 1/4 notes being tied. You'll simply add their values together (1 beat + 1 beat = 2 beats) and play them as a single held note.

Example 2: Here's a situation where multiple notes are tied, and across a bar line too! Since it's 4/4 time, half notes are worth 2 beats. Therefore, the value of the tied notes is 4.5, played as a single held note.

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