Note Durations

Dotted Notes

Dots are placed after note heads to change the duration of a note.

Dotted Half Notes Dotted Quarter Notes Dotted Eighth Notes

The dot adds one-half of the duration value of the note to itself. For instance, one half the value of a half note is a quarter note. Therefore, a dotted half note is the time value of a half note plus a quarter note.

Dotted Half Note

Dotted Quarter Note

Dotted Eighth Note

Listen to the following examples while looking at the notation to get an idea of the relative relationships in duration of the note values. (Click on the first note or the instrument links.)

Quarter, Half, and Dotted Half

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Quarter, Eighth, Dotted Quarter, and Dotted Half

piano violin trumpet oboe flute clarinet saxophone strings choir organ


Quarter, Dotted Eighth, Sixteenth, and Half

piano violin trumpet oboe flute clarinet saxophone strings choir organ


Beaming Dotted Eighth Notes to Sixteenth Notes

The example below shows how the above example can be written using beams instead of flags.

piano violin trumpet oboe flute clarinet saxophone strings choir organ