Rhythmic Dictation | The Dot

The dot is a symbol in music which when placed next to a note or rest increases the rhythmic duration of that note by half of its original value.

For example, a half note on any staff position sounds for two full beats, and a half rest requires two beats of silence.

HalfNoteRestStaff.png

When a dot is placed next to a half note the duration of that note increases from two beats to three beats.

DottedHalfStaff.png

If a half note sounds for two beats and a dot adds half of that note's original value,

Explained_Half_1.png

because half of two equals one

Explained_Half_2.png

and two plus one equals three,

Explained_Half_3.png

the duration of a dotted half note is therefore three beats.

Explained_Half_4.png

Likewise, a dot placed next to a whole note would increase its rhythmic duration from four beats to six beats.

We know that a whole note sounds for 4 equal beats.

Explained_Whole_1.png

Knowing that half of four equals two,

Explained_Whole_2.png

and four plus two equals six,

Explained_Whole_3.png

a dotted whole note would then sound for six beats.

Explained_Whole_4.png

For this reason a dotted whole note may not be used in a measure with a 4/4 time signature.

44DottedWhole.png

The time signature would have to allow for the equivalent of six equal beats in each measure in order to hold a dotted whole note.

64DottedWhole.png