Dotting (music)

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Dotted quarter note

The punctuation is a symbol in musical notation : A point after the note increases the note value by half, i.e. the note is played longer by half its own value. Correspondingly, a pause symbol can also be dotted and the pause can be extended by half.

The punctuation also denotes a three-part structure, because a dotted note corresponds to three times the value of the next shorter one (this is also didactically important.)

<< \ new RhythmicStaff {\ time 3/4 g2.  \ mark "=" g4 ~ g ~ g} \ new RhythmicStaff {\ time 3/4 g2.  \ mark "=" g2 ~ g4} >>


Simple dotting

Above: A dotted half note corresponds to a half note and a quarter note, connected with a tie . The simplification of the notation becomes even clearer with double and triple dots (middle and bottom).

Since notes are read from left to right, the point is written to the right of the note or rest in question. If the note is on a line, the point is usually in the next higher space; if there are several voices in a staff, it is sometimes also in the space below. The extension point must not be confused with points above or below the notehead, which denote the staccato (a form of articulation ), and occasionally accents in the time of the Viennese Classic .

Since the point symbolizes a note attached to the end of half the duration, the usability of the symbol depends on the position of the main note within the metric grid. If, for example, a dotted quarter note in 3/4 time should not begin on a beat, but exactly in between, its notation as a quarter note plus point would not be correct; it must be written as an eighth note with a quarter appended (by a tie ).

The notes lengthened in this way are denoted by the adjective dotted , for example dotted halves or dotted quarters . Three-quarter notes , three-eighth notes, etc., on the other hand, are less common today.

Multiple puncturing

Another point can be added to dotted notes. This increases the extension represented by the first point by half. A double dotted half has the value of a half note plus a quarter note plus an eighth note.

In the case of triple dotting, the third point accordingly means again an extension by half compared to the extension by the second point. Triple dots are practically unknown in the music of the Baroque and Classical periods, but can occasionally be found in the music of the Romantic and Late Romantic periods, for example with Frédéric Chopin , and regularly with Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner .

Theoretically, the number of multiple punctures could be continued as desired, but in practice there is a maximum - and extremely rarely - fourfold punctures.

The length of a note with n points is times the length of the original note value.

Term dotting

Even regardless of their concrete graphic representation, tones can be referred to as dotted if they have a length of one and a half standard note lengths. So you will often combine three of the given basic values ​​into one counting time in a quick three-beat measure, that is, in a 68- beat (“ Come on, dear May, and do ”) not six eighths, but only two beats. These beats each summarize three eighths and can be referred to as dotted quarters .

Rhythms in which a dotted note is regularly followed by the next smaller non-dotted note ( e.g. dotted eighth note - sixteenth note - dotted eighth note - sixteenth note ) can be called "dotted rhythms".

Dotting in baroque music

The quotation only developed into a proper system over time . In 1752 the well-known flautist Johann Joachim Quantz wrote that “you can't really determine the time of the short note after the point”. Quantz also appears to be the first to have recorded the use of colonization.

Sustained tones on the beats, followed by a short tone or fast run immediately before the next beat, were very popular in the Baroque ; they are characteristic of the opening part of the French overture . Historically, a notation that was imprecise to a certain extent was tolerated, which today would have to be considered incorrect and is mostly corrected in the editions according to today's standards. Of course, this “correction” is not unambiguous. According to the ideas of historical performance practice , it is the task of the interpreter to find out what the notation and performance practice was at the time and then to decide for himself how this is to be played. Therefore one will try to use copies of the original notes for comparison if possible.

For example, from 1722 Johann Sebastian Bach adopted a rhythm from French music consisting of a dotted eighth note and three thirty - second beats. He listed the first ever something like this: dotted eighth notes + three 32nd notes. However, forms like Eighth notes with attached 32nd notes + three 32nd notesand also appear later dotted eighth notes with appended 64ths + three 64ths. It is controversial whether Bach only corrected the beats here or whether he wanted different explanations. You can also be of the opinion that the rhythm was always overdotted in this context anyway . The representatives of the different styles of interpretation lead z. Sometimes heated discussions about which is the historically correct practice.

Individual evidence

  1. Lars Ulrich Abrahanm, introduction to music notation.
  2. Erich Wolf: The music education. Volume I: General Music Theory. Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden 1967, ISBN 3-7651-0044-7 , p. 13.
  3. Christoph Hempel: New general music theory. Schott, Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-254-08200-1 , p. 82.
  4. ^ Prelude in G major op. 28 No. 3 : Sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project
  5. ↑ e.g. in Franz Liszt's 2nd Piano Concerto ( Piano Concerto No. 2, p. 125 : sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project ), Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem ( Requiem : sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project ), César Franck's Prelude, chorale et fugue , Paul Hindemith's symphony Mathis der Maler and in Béla Bartók's music for string instruments, percussion and celesta , cf. Extremes of Conventional Music Notation
  6. JJQuantz, attempt at instructions to play the flute traversiere , [1] §21
  7. Harvard dictionary of music [2]
  8. ^ Siegbert Rampe, Dominik Sackmann: Bach's orchestral music . Kassel 2000, ISBN 3-7618-1345-7 , pp. 267-271.