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Reading rhythm, part 8: dotted rhythms

Part of a 12-part course on reading rhythm.

We covered dotted notes in part 4. A dotted rhythm is a particular use of dotted notes, where one note falls on the beat and another falls 34 of the way through the beat, e.g.:

𝅘𝅥𝅮. 𝅘𝅥𝅯

(If the note images are not displaying on your browser, click here to see them.)

It’s sufficiently common that it’s worth practicing by itself. Pieces in my Intermediate Classical course that use it a lot are Dvořák’s Largo from the “New World” Symphony, Albinoni’s Adagio, Bizet’s “Toreador Song”, and Verdi’s “La donna è mobile”. Let’s work through them one by one:

The most important lesson to remember is: when playing a dotted rhythm, make sure you’re splitting the beat into 4 and not 3.

Next up: rests.