What Are Dotted Notes?

Musical notation has some "shortcuts", kind of like coding languages such as Python have "shortcuts" for coding loops or functions.

Dotted notes are one of these "shortcuts". 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.

Have a look at this diagram below. Do dotted notes make sense to you?


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.

What is the history of Dots & Ties?
This song was recorded in , released under , while in .
What are the lyrics?