Dotted note

Dotted note

In Western musical notation, a dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. The dot increases the duration of the basic note by half of its original value. If the basic note lasts 2 beats, the corresponding dotted note lasts 3 beats. A dotted note is equivalent to writing the basic note tied to a note of half the value, or with more than one dots, tied to notes of progressively halved value.[1] Any number of dots may be added to a note; n dots serve to lengthen the note by $1 - \tfrac{1}{2^n}$ of its original duration.

Notation

Example 1. Dotted notes and their equivalent durations. The curved lines, called ties, add the note values together.

If the note to be dotted is on a space, the dot also goes on the space, while if the note is on a line, the dot goes on the space above (this also goes for notes on ledger lines).[2] However, if a dotted note on a line is part of a chord where a higher note is also on a line, the dot for the lower note is placed in the space below:  [3]

The dots on dotted notes, which are located to the right of the note, are not to be confused with the dots which indicate staccato articulation, which are located above or below the note as shown in the 3rd and 4th notes of Example 2.

Theoretically, any note value can be dotted, as can rests of any value. If the rest is in its normal position, dots are always placed in third staff space from the bottom,[4]

The use of a dot for augmentation of a note dates back at least to the 10th century, although the exact amount of augmentation is disputed; see Neume.

Dots can be used across barlines, such as in H. C. Robbins Landon's edition of Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 70 in D major, but most writers today regard this usage as "obsolete" and recommend using a tie across the barline instead.[5]

More than one dot may be added; each dot adds half of the duration added by the previous dot, as shown in example 1.

Double dotting

A double-dotted note is a note with two small dots written after it. Its duration is 1¾ times (1 + ½ + ¼ = 2 - ¼) its basic note value.

The double-dotted note is used less frequently than the dotted note. Typically, as in the example below, it is followed by a note whose duration is one-quarter the length of the basic note value, completing the next higher note value.

Example 2. The first two notes show a double-dotted eighth note followed by a thirty-second note, that are connected with a beam.

Example 2 is a fragment of the second movement of Joseph Haydn's string quartet, Op. 74, No. 2, a theme and variations. The first note is double-dotted. Haydn's theme was adapted for piano by an unknown composer; the adapted version can be heard  here (3.7 KB MIDI file).

In a French overture (and sometimes other Baroque music), notes written as dotted notes are often interpreted to mean double-dotted notes,[6] and the following note is commensurately shortened; see Historically informed performance.

Triple dotting

Example 3

A triple-dotted note is a note with three dots written after it; its duration is 1⅞ times (1 + ½ + ¼ + ⅛ = 2 - ⅛) its basic note value. Use of a triple-dotted note value is not common in the Baroque and Classical periods, but quite common in the music of Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner, especially in their brass parts. See example 3.

An example of the use of double- and triple-dotted notes is the Prelude in G major for piano, Op. 28, No. 3, by Frédéric Chopin. The piece, in common time (4/4), contains running semiquavers in the left hand. Several times during the piece Chopin asks for the right hand to play a triple-dotted minim (lasting 15 semiquavers) simultaneously with the first left-hand semiquaver, then one semiquaver simultaneously with the 16th left-hand semiquaver.

More than three dots are highly uncommon but theoretically possible.[7]

See also

"Hard swing" (3:1): dotted eighth-sixteenth.

References

1. ^ Gardner Read, Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice 2nd Edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, Inc. (1969): 114, Example 8-11; 116, Example 8-18; 117, Example 8-20.
2. ^ Glen Rosencrans, Music Notation Primer. New York: Passantino (1979): 29
3. ^ Ted Ross. Teach Yourself The Art of Music Engraving & Processing Hansen Books, Florida.
4. ^ Read (1969): 119; 120, Example 8-28. The author points out the obvious fact "that it is impossible to tie rests."
5. ^ Read (1969): 117–118. "Ranging from Renaissance madrigals to the keyboard works of Johannes Brahms, one often finds such a notation as the one at the left below." (The next page shows an example labeled "older notation" of two measures of music in 4/4 of which the second measure contains, in order: an augmentation dot, a quarter note and a half note.
6. ^ Adam Carse, 18th Century Symphonies: A Short History of the Symphony in the 18th Century. London: Augener Ltd. (1951): 28. "Contemporary theorists made it clear that the dotted note should be sustained beyond its actual value (the double dot was not then in use), and that the short note or notes should be played as quickly as possible."
7. ^ Bussler, Ludwig (1890). Elements of Notation and Harmony, p. 14. 2010 edition: ISBN 1152452363. Please note: Bussler stated that more than 3 dots are not used at all, but his work is from 1890, and it is not known if he knew all musical partituras around those days.

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Look at other dictionaries:

• Dotted note — Dotted Dot ted, a. Marked with, or made of, dots or small spots; diversified with small, detached objects. [1913 Webster] {Dotted note} (Mus.), a note followed by a dot to indicate an increase of length equal to one half of its simple value; thus …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• dotted note — or dotted rest noun (music) One whose length is increased by one half by a dot placed after it • • • Main Entry: ↑dot …   Useful english dictionary

• dotted note — n. (Music) note followed by a dot showing an increase of length identical to one half of its simple value …   English contemporary dictionary

• double-dotted note — or double dotted rest noun (music) One whose length is increased by three quarters, marked by two dots placed after it • • • Main Entry: ↑double …   Useful english dictionary

• Dotted quarter note — with upwards stem A dotted crotchet or dotted quarter note is a crotchet/quarter note that has been lengthened by half; that is, it has the length of three quavers/eighth notes. In x/4 time signatures, the dotted quarter note is worth 1½ beats… …   Wikipedia

• Dotted — Dot ted, a. Marked with, or made of, dots or small spots; diversified with small, detached objects. [1913 Webster] {Dotted note} (Mus.), a note followed by a dot to indicate an increase of length equal to one half of its simple value; thus, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Dotted rest — Dotted Dot ted, a. Marked with, or made of, dots or small spots; diversified with small, detached objects. [1913 Webster] {Dotted note} (Mus.), a note followed by a dot to indicate an increase of length equal to one half of its simple value; thus …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• dotted rest — dotted note or dotted rest noun (music) One whose length is increased by one half by a dot placed after it • • • Main Entry: ↑dot …   Useful english dictionary

• Note value — Parts of a note In music notation, a note value indicates the relative duration of a note, using the color or shape of the note head, the presence or absence of a stem, and the presence or absence of flags/beams/hooks/tails. A rest indicates a… …   Wikipedia

• Dotted crotchet — A dotted crotchet or dotted quarter note is a crotchet/quarter note that has been lengthened by half; that is, it has the length of three quavers/eighth notes.ee also*Dotted note …   Wikipedia

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