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Music Notation

Dotted Notes

Dotted notes are the exact opposite of flagged notes. The small flag that follows a note decreases that note’s duration by half, whereas a small dot that follows a note increases that note’s duration by half. A dotted half note would therefore become three quarter notes (one half note equals two quarter notes). A dotted quarter note would therefore become three eighth notes (one quarter note equals two eighth notes), and so on and so forth. Since it isn’t easy to see a dot on a line, dots are placed within the spaces of a staff.

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Just like flagged notes however, dotted notes vary music. By itself, music can be quite static if it isn’t spiced up a bit with a few pauses, longer durations, or shortened stints. Flags and dots are just two tools we use to make music come alive with personality. We also have staccato notes to play with.

Staccato Notes

Dotted notes like staccato notes are indicated with a dot placed at their very tops or bottoms. When you run across a staccato note, you must play it with a short and crisp emphasis. Since the space between each is short and silent , staccato notes sound as though they’re spontaneous additives and they’ll liven up a song while filling the audience with anticipation.

They really lend variety to a song when played within a section that leads up to a legato section. Legato notes are played as though they’re connected. There are no distinguishable breaks between each pitch. But when played right after or right before a staccato section, the end result is an exciting combination that comes together in a pleasing way.

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Music Time Signatures – What Are They?

by Tania Gleaves on March 7, 2015

When you start studying piano lessons, you will learn the basic knowledge of music which also includes music time signatures. Time signatures are composed of two numbers in the form of a fraction which tells you the number of notes and the kind of note receiving one beat in each measure. Say what?! That might have been your initial reaction upon reading this definition, believe me, I’ve been there. But don’t worry because I will break down music time signatures for you in an easier to understand manner.

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Music time signatures are commonly found at the beginning of each music sheet. These are the fraction numbers written right after the clef on the first staff. The top number lets you know how many beats there are per measure while the bottom number informs you what kind of note receives one beat. The top numbers can be any number but the bottom numbers always follow 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16. No other numbers can be represented at the bottom except for the aforementioned ones because they represent the five different notes.

If you are a bit confused by this, just imagine the bottom number in the form of a fraction with 1 as its top number. When you read the fractions, you will know right away what kind of note they stand for.

The Bottom Number With Their Corresponding Note Values:

1 – whole note

2 – half note

4 – quarter note

8 – eighth note

16 – sixteenth note

Say for example, a music sheet has 4/4 music time signature, this means that there are 4 beats in a measure and the quarter note gets a beat each time. In the staff, you will find four quarter notes or its corresponding equivalent in one measure. Some of the corresponding equivalents of four quarter notes can be two half notes, one whole note, two quarter notes and four eighths, and a few others more. Your guide for knowing the corresponding equivalents of music time signatures will be the length of duration each note has originally.

4/4 music time signature

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Learn To Read Music – A Gentle Introduction…

February 24, 2015

Figuring out how to learn to read music may seem intimidating — especially if you’ve never paid any attention to sheet music before. But once you learn the basics, you’ll discover a whole new world that paves a road of confusing symbols with a coat of comfortable, natural, and perfect logic. This article serves as […]

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Music Theory Key Signature – The Basics

February 20, 2015

You have been hearing about the music theory key signature during your first piano lesson but do you know what they are made of? Key signatures are actually one of the basic foundations of playing the piano. These music fundamentals guide you in “tuning” the music pieces you are playing. Music theory key signature can […]

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Key Signatures – A Beginner’s Lesson…

February 10, 2015

What Determines The Quality And Quantity Of A Song’s Notes When watching musicians play piano, you may see them refer to a piece of music in the key of “A” or “C.” These letters refer to the key that the music is played in or its key signature. Key signatures are what determines the quality […]

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Use Sight Reading Music To Your Advantage

February 3, 2015

There are some basic steps on how to develop sight reading music. Sight read music simply means easily reading a music piece and putting it into action right away without exerting much thinking effort because the music flows naturally from your sight to your fingers. This skill can be acquired and enhanced by every pianist […]

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Various Notes

January 27, 2015

Beaming Notes Music beams are lines that seemingly connect a series of various notes. Since they’re thick and horizontal (as opposed to thin and vertical), they’re more noticeable and intimidating to beginners. Rest assured that beams are nothing to fear – even when sheet music is plastered with them. Music beams actually make notation easier […]

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Playing Beginner Piano – An Introduction

January 19, 2015

It isn’t hard at all to learn beginner piano and once you learn the basics, you’ll discover that the rest of your journey is a straightforward process. Learning can be intimidating to people who have no experience with piano music at all, but it can even intimidate musicians who are used to playing a different […]

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Music Bar Lines

December 25, 2014

Introducing the Bar In order to represent pitch and tone, music notes need a staff. If you’ll remember from our other lessons, the music staff is a system of five horizontal lines and it provides a foundation for all the beautiful music that we hear. Notes sit on, above, between, and below these lines. But […]

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Understanding The Circle of Fifths

December 8, 2014

The circle of fifths, introduced by Johann David Heinichen in 1728, is a visual arrangement of related keys. Although its name gives the impression that it’s a difficult concept to grasp, it’s really just an easy way to remember the number of sharps and flats in a key signature and the major and minor key […]

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