Adding Notes Together
The note of longest duration we know so far is 6 beats in duration (the dotted whole note). To create notes of longer duration we must add two or more notes together. For example, to create a that is 12 beats in duration we could add together three whole notes. This is done using something called a “tie”. A tie is a curved line strung between two notes, indicating that the durations are to be added together.
In the preceding example, the first whole note is played and then held for a duration of 12 beats. (The second and third notes are not “replayed” but are continued to be held.) The use of the tie also allows for note durations that last longer that a single measure.
Remember that they are tied together do not necessarily need to be of the same length. Any two note durations may be tied together. Gor example, a whole note can be tied to a quarter note (4 + 1 = 5); a whole note can be tied to a dotted half note (4 + 3 = 7) etc.
Ties Vs. Dots
Sometimes, rather than adding a dot to a note, notes are tied together to create a duration equal in length to that of a dotted note. For example, a half note tied to a quarter note is 3 beats.
This is a same as adding a dot to a half note.
A quarter note tied to an eighth note is 1 & ½ beats.
This is the same as adding a dot to a quarter note.