Dots and ties

Ties and dots both serve a similar purpose, and a fairly straightforward one at that, so hopefully this should be an easy section for you!

Ties and dots both add extra value to a note. Dots add half again the original value to the note, while a tie adds the sum of two or more notes together.


Dotted notes

As I mentioned above, a dot adds half again the original note value. So the end time value very much depends on the type of note that the dot is attached to. It should also be noted that a dot is only ever written after the note. So here are some examples of dotted notes.


Occasionally, you will also see a double dot added to a note. While the first adds half again the time value, the second dot adds another quarter of the original time value. So in total this adds three quarters of the original value of the note.

Dots double dots

Dots can also affect rests. This has exactly the same effect as it does with notes.

Dots rests

Dots double dot rests

Tied notes

Ties join two notes together, as long as they are the same pitch. A tie looks like a curved line between to notes, as shown below. If there is a curved line between two notes of a different pitch, then it is called a slur and is no longer a tie. It is very easy to mix these two up!

There is no limit to how many notes can be joined by a tie, and they are often used to make a long note that goes over a bar line. Please remember that if five notes are tied together, there should only be one sound (not five!) that lasts for the duration of the sum of the five notes. So if these five notes are crotchets (1 beat long each) then there should be one sound for five beats. Not five sounds of one beat each- this would be how it sounded if the notes weren’t tied together.

This is what tied notes look like:





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