Tied And Dotted Notes

Sometimes when writing music a composer might want to make a note last longer.

Or they might want a note to be held over a bar line.

For situations like these we use two different types of notes.

Dotted notes and tied notes.

Let's start by looking at ties.


What Are Tied Notes?

A tie is a sloped line that joins together two notes that are next to each other and have the same pitch. 

This means that the time values of the notes are added together to create a longer note. 

For example, two minims tied together has the same value as a semibreve:

Two crotchets tied together have the same value as a minim:

Two quavers tied together have the same value as a crotchet:

They don't have to be the same time value either, you could have a crotchet tied to a quaver, or a minim tied to a crotchet etc.

When we write a tie we always write it from the note head of the first note to the note head of the second at the opposite end to the stem.

This is also the case when the stems are pointing downwards.

The last thing to mention is that we can tie together any number of notes  together and they can also go across bar lines. 

But, they have to be the same pitch.


What Are Dotted Notes?

The other type of note that you will see is a dotted note.

This dot after the note head makes the note longer by half its value. 

For example a dotted minim has the same time value as a minim plus a crotchet:

A dotted crotchet has the same time value as a crotchet plus a quaver:

A dotted quavers has the same value as a quaver plus a semiquaver:

When we dot a note that is on a line, we place the dot in the space above the line.

And when we dot a note that is sitting in a space, we place the dot in the same space as the note head. 

Unlike tied notes dotted notes can’t go across bar lines. 

You should always use a tied note if you want it to last longer then one bar.

Thats it for dotted and tied notes. 

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