Double Dots

A single dot to the right of a note head increases the length of the note by 50% (the note plus half of itself).

So, a dotted minim = a minim + a crotchet: [a dotted half note = a half + a quarter]

Double dots increase the value by 75% (the note plus three quarters of itself).

So a double dotted minim = minim + crotchet + quaver: [double dotted half note = half + quarter + 8th]

Rests can also have dots and double dots added to them, of course.

In a music theory exam you might be asked about equivalents, for example:

How many quavers is a double dotted semibreve worth? [How many 8th notes is a double dotted whole note worth?]

First calculate how many quavers (8ths) there are in a normal semibreve (whole) = (8)

Then add on the number of quavers in half a semibreve = (4)

Then add on the number of quavers in a quarter of a semibreve = (2).

8+4+2=14

The quick way to do this is simply to

1. halve the original number (= the number of the value you are counting in the undotted note)
2. halve the second number

Here’s a crazy question to show you as an example – how many semiquavers [16ths] are there in a double dotted breve [double dotted double whole]?

1 undotted breve=2 semibreves=4 minims=8 crotchets=16 quavers=32 semiquavers

32+16+8=56.

There are 56 semiquavers in a double dotted breve!

Another common question in the exam paper is to explain how dots and double dots affect notes:

“A dotted note lasts 1.5 times longer than an undotted one” or “a dot increases a note’s length by 50%”.

“A double dotted note lasts 1.75 times longer than an undotted one” or “a double dot increases a note’s length by 75%.”

Double Dotted Notes Exercises

Hover your mouse over the questions (tap on mobiles) to reveal the answers.

Add the following note values together, and write ONE note which is of the same value. The first one has been done for you.

Write the note which is DOUBLE the length of each of these notes:

Write the note which is HALF the length of each of these notes: