# Dotted Notes

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by cassanova, Dec 6, 2003.

1. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida
I know that a dotted note recieves its normal count plus 1/2.

So a 1/4 note is counted: 1 and ah, but Im not really sure how to count dotted 1/8 and 1/16 notes and rests. I know its the same principle but I just cant count it out would it be 1 and E?

If someone could please tell me how to count these Id be in debted to you and it would help accelerate my learning curve because I cant move on until I figure this out.

2. ### tuBass

Dec 14, 2002
Mesquite, Texas
OK, we'll give this a try.

say 1234,1234,1234,1234 in a steady beat. Got it? Good.

now with the same speed and pulse, say 1-uh-uh-4, 1-uh-uh-4,1-uh-uh-4, 1-uh-uh-4.

now, replace the 1 and the four with a "Ta" sound, keeping them in the same place within the beat as they were in the second example.

Congratulations! you are now doing a typical dotted 8th notes pattern with a 16th note filling in the rest of the beat, as usually happens anytime you see a dotted 8th note.

Hope that helps, if not, let me know and I'll try to explain it a different way.

As for dotted quarter notes, thing of the song "America" (my country tis of thee) Sing the first 5 words to yourself. THe words tis of thee from the perfect dotted quarter note pattern.

3. ### Tom Baldwin

Aug 3, 2003
MD / DC / VA
In my experience, sixteenths are typically verbalized by saying the name of the beat, followed by "e", "and", then "a". So in 4/4 or common time, if you wanted to count the sixteenth note subdivisions, you would say (or write) 1e+a, 2e+a, 3e+a, 4e+a. (The +'s being read as "and"). A dotted eighth/sixteenth rhythm could then be counted "1_ _a 2_ _a 3_ _a 4_ _a, leaving the "e" and "+" silent.

Just another way to look at it, hope that helps.

4. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
To count a dotted quarter you have to subdivide the beat further into 8ths... a 1/4 note plus half it's duration is three 1/8ths.

So you'd count the beat you start on, then the & of the following beat (unless you start on an & of course

I'd count a dotted quarter/8th pattern as follows (so you dont count out the notes in brackets)
1(&2) & 3(&4) &

To count dotted 1/8ths you have to divide into 16ths

So, the same pattern with dotted 8th/16th
1(e&) a 2(e&) a 3(e&) a 4(e&) a

To count dotted 16ths you have to divide into 32nd notes... and you're on your own

5. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
Let's not forget double dots, where you add half the value again (along the lines of Xeno's paradox ).

Start with a half note and add a dot and then fill the rest of a 4/4 bar with a second note and you'd count:

(1) 2 3 (4)

(brackets round the notes you play).

Add a second dot to the half note and you're now counting:

(1) & 2 & 3 & 4 (&)

In theory, you could even add more dots, although it starts to get silly...!

Wulf

6. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
d-d-d-double d-d-dots?!

my brain hurts!

Is there any reason to use dotted notes over tied notes or vice versa other than when the note crossed the bar line?

7. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
I think it's largely a matter of style. Remember, the whole thing about writing music down is to communicate it, not to obscure it.

Of course, because of Xeno's paradox (see link above) a dotted note will never extend to twice the original length or beyond but ties can keep you holding.....

..... on for ages

Wulf

8. ### cassanova

Sep 4, 2000
Florida

I didnt forget about the double dots. Theyre in the book Im working from. Im just not ready to take them on just yet.

9. ### Phil SmithMr Sumisu 2 U

May 30, 2000
Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
Try counting them by looking at them like they're twice the value that they are i.e. a sixteenth is a eight, a eight, a quarter, a quarter, a half.

The first bar and the second bar are the same rhythm, which do you think you'd be able to rhythmically recognize faster?

10. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
T-Bal's got it -- listen to him. The "e" he refers to is pronounced "ee" (not "eh") and you will not get funny looks from other musicians if you refer to the rhythmic placement of a note as the "ee" of such and such a beat.

"1-ee-and-uh, 2-ee-and-uh..."

11. ### Fred W

Feb 21, 2002
Bronx, NY
one ee and aah is absolutly right for counting 16th notes. For sight reading at real world tempos, I find I cannot mentally hear all those sounds. I read the dotted 8th + 16th note pattern by phrasing the 16th like it belongs to the next quarter note beat, not the previous dotted 8th. Like it's a pickup. This also helps in not mistakenly playing a tied triplet figure ( a 2to1 ratio opposed to 3to1 ).

12. ### Rimas

Im playing this piece right now where the meter is given as a dotted quarter note.I just dont get how that could be functional.

modern composers...

13. ### Wil Davis

Could be Compound Time (6/8, 9/8, 12/8 or 15/8) where the the basic pulse is 2, 3, 4, or 5 to the measure, but each beat feels like a tripletÂ…

- Wil

14. ### Rimas

Yeah, it is a compound time, I think its in 15/8, but at the same time, the piece is very atonal and does not really seem to follow a rhythmic pattern, have a specific melody , etc.... but now that I think about it, it definitely does make it easier to conduct 15 beats.

15. ### delbass

Sep 9, 2003
Albany, NY
Hi-
How do you guys explain counting 32nd notes besides saying they are 2x as fast as sixteenth notes? 1-hun-ee-hee-&-hun-ah-huh ????
I usually just count 2 notes into each sixteenth notes, but is there a better syllabic way to explain to students?
-Del

16. ### delbass

Sep 9, 2003
Albany, NY
A tabla player friend on mine suggested:

do-ga-ta-ga-de-ga-ta-ga

17. ### Chris FitzgeraldStudent of LifeStaff MemberAdministrator

Oct 19, 2000
Louisville, KY
I use the old brass player method because it's easy to pronounce:

taka-taka-taka-taka

My piano teacher back in the day used to refer to them as, "deedle-deedle-deedle-deedles".

18. ### delbass

Sep 9, 2003
Albany, NY
Ok, I like the ta-ka method best....so dotted 16th with 32s become takata-ka.

What if you combine them:
taka-doga-deedle-deedle

19. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
...or: tak-a-dump-tak-a-dump-tak-a-dump-dump-dump

'Scuse me guys, gotta hit the reading room.

20. ### Chris FitzgeraldStudent of LifeStaff MemberAdministrator

Oct 19, 2000
Louisville, KY

Amazing. That's often what happens when I try to play 32nd notes.