Free online piano keyboard lessons for Beginners
In piano lesson 5, we talked about time signatures. We saw that the top number in a time signature tells you how many beats there are in a measure (or bar) while the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets a beat.
For a 3/4 time signature there are 3 beats to a measure and a quarter note gets one beat. This means that there can be a maximum of 3 quarter notes in a measure. You can have a half note and a quarter note as well since a half note lasts two beats and a quarter note lasts one beat. You can have any combination of notes as long as they do not exceed three beats.
A dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. The dot increases the duration of the basic note by half of its original value. If the basic note lasts 2 beats, the corresponding dotted note lasts 3 beats. So while one would count two beats for a half note, if it is dotted one would have to count three beats. A quarter note gets one beat but a dotted quarter note would last a beat and a half.
A tie is a curved line connecting the heads of two notes of the same pitch, indicating that they are to be played as a single note with a duration equal to the sum of the individual notes’ note values.
In some cases one might tie two notes which could be written with a single note value, such as a half note tied to a quarter note (the same length as a dotted half note).
The key is held down for the combined values of both notes.
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