Cut time note values

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Leftybass12, Nov 14, 2008.


  1. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    This is my first post so bear with me people.
    Anyway, I know how to count music and all, but one problem I seem to have an awful lot is in cut time or 2/2 time. Now I do know that in cut time a whole note is worth 2 beats, a half note is worth 1 beat, a quater note is worth 1/2 a beat, and and eigth note is like a 32nd note.

    My question is though what is a dotted notes worth in cut time?? Is a dotted half note worth one and a half beats? What's a dotted quarter note worth in cut time??

    If anyone could help me, that would be awesome
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Pretty close. The eight notes would be like sixteenth.

    As for the dotted notes, they time would be cut in half also. USUALLY, dotted notes come in pairs with a shorter note. So a Dotted half would likely be with a quarter and in cut time that combo would be like a dotted quarter and eighth. The dotted quarter eighth (in 4/4) would then be (in cut time) like a dotted eighth and sixteenth. see?

    Also.... as you are reading music remember that the idea of 'cut time' is not always just 'faster'. A lot of times the composer/arranger is trying to convey a feeling of 2 rather than four... so the tempo might not be so fast, but the underlying rhythm would be different.

    BTW, meters other than 4/4 often do things different than cut time. 3/4 can be taken "In One'... which means that there is only one beat to a measure (this means rhythmic feel and speed). 9/8 is very often played in 3 beats to the measure. 6/8 is more often than not played with 2 beats in a measure (most standard marches are done this way). 12/8 is very often played in 4 beats to a measure (lots of rock and roll is done this way.... even if its written in 4/4).

    As with other aspects of written music, its a suggestion of how the music should sound... not a mathmatical representation of anything. In other words... always go with the sound.
  3. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Thank you so much! It really helped
  4. alapantera

    alapantera

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    adding a dot to a note increases it's value to 1.5 times it's original value. this would still apply in cut time.

    ex: a dotted half note in 4/4 would normally equal 3 beats, whereas in cut time (2/2) it would equal 1.5 beats.
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  6. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008

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