Fours

60bpm

72bpm

84bpm

96bpm

108bpm

120bpm

132bpm

144bpm

156bpm


3.5Dots, Leger Lines, Low C


You've already seen that any length of note can be written by tying note-values together. Certain lengths can also be written by dotting notes.
By putting a dot after a note head, you increase the duration of the note by 50%. So, when a half-note/minim lasts for two beats, a dotted half-note/minim will last for 3. The two bars of music below will therefore sound the same. Either notation is correct but the second is generally preferred.

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Counting Dotted Half-Notes

Count and clap these rhythms.

  • Notice that there is a three-beat note starting in bar 5 - the tie is used here because a dotted half-note/minim would be confusing (it would look like a bar of six beats, then a bar of two).
  • Aim for 132bpm
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Here's how that should have sounded.

Lovely Joan

There are some dotted half-notes/minims in Lovely Joan (an English folk song).

There's also a new note - a low C written on the first ledger line below the stave. When you need to write notes that are too high or low to fit on the stave, 'ledger lines' and spaces can be added above and below. The lines are only a little wider than the note head itself.

  • Aim for 144bpm.
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Here's how the tune should have sounded (on C, Bb, Eb instruments).