Skip to Main Content | Lesson Index | Glossary

EMT Lesson One  How to read music

Dotted notes

A dot after a note increases its value by a half (50%). Figure 16 shows a half note which we know is worth two (2) beats.

Note the rests which complete the four (4) beats in the bar in each clef. In the bass clef, there are no notes, therefore the whole note/semibreve rest is used, which is worth a whole bar – four (4) beats.

Figure 16. Half note   (Enlarge)

Figure 16. Half note.

If we place a dot after a half note it is now worth 3 beats:

Half note = 2 beats
The dot = a half of a half note = 1 beat
Therefore, a dotted half note = 2 + 1 = 3 beats

(Note that this leaves a one (1) beat = quarter note/crotchet rest in the treble clef to complete the four (4) beats in the bar.)

Figure 17. Dotted half note   (Enlarge)

Figure 17. Dotted half note.

Next: Ties