Short, to-the-point, and easy-to-understand classical music composer biography on Claude Debussy provided by Five Minute Mozart.

Advanced Rhythm - The Tie

Run time: 4m 12s  |  Release Date: May 18th, 2020

Section 1 - "Introduction"

The tie is a curved line connecting the rhythmic values of two or more notes of equal pitch and letter name. In other words, when two notes with the same vibrational frequency are joined together by a tie the rhythmic duration of each note is combined to form one longer duration.

Let's put this into perspective.

Section 2 - "Quarter Note To Quarter Note"

A quarter note on any staff position sounds for one beat each. If we place a tie between the quarter notes on beats three and four their rhythmic values are then combined to make the duration of the quarter note on beat three now worth two beats. As you can see, a quarter note tied to another quarter results in a rhythmic duration which is essentially the same as a single half note.

Section 3 - "Half Note To Quarter Note"

When a tie is used to connect a half note to a quarter note the rhythmic duration of the half note extends from two beats to three beats. In the previous video we learned that a dot adds half of the rhythmic value of the note that it is attached to. A half note tied to a quarter note is an essentially the same as a dotted half note.

Section 4 - "Half Note To Half Note"

Likewise, when a half note is tied to another half note the rhythmic duration of the first half note is doubled from two beats to four beats. Because the rhythmic duration of a half note is exactly half of that of a whole note, a half note tied to another half note is comparatively the same as a single whole note.

Section 5 - "Quarter Note To Eighth Note"

We learned in the previous video that a dotted quarter note extends from the down beat of a particular beat to the upbeat of the following beat. This may also be achieved by tying each quarter note to an eighth note. We can see in this example that the quarter notes on beats one and there are tied to the first eighth note on the following beat. Being so, each quarter note will extend through the next down beat and the following note will be played on that up beat.

Section 6 - "Stipulation"

Now, it is important to remember that a tie may only be used to connect two notes of equal pitch and letter name. For example, because these two notes are not on the same staff position, even though they are both the letter name F, a tie may not be used to connect their rhythmic values. In order to have a tie between them they must be on the same staff position.

Section 7 - "Extending Notes Past The Measure Line"

One of the many functional uses of a tie can be for when you want to extend the duration of a note past a measure line. For example, a half note placed on the fourth beat of a measure with a 4/4 time signature would extend the measure to five beats and would therefore not work. This can be fixed by replacing the half note with a quarter note and using a tie to connect it to a quarter note on beat one of the following measure.

Section 8 - "Wrap Up"

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Watch Next:

7 - Eighth Notes.png

In this video lesson we’re going to discuss a subdivision of the quarter note called an eighth note. In order to fully understand eighth notes you must first be familiar with whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes. If you are not, please take the time to review our previous video on rhythm before proceeding.

We already know that a whole note sounds for four beats, a half note sounds for two beats, and a quarter note for only one beat. Just like a half note is half of a whole note, a quarter note is half of a half note, in the same sense an eighth note is half of a quarter note.