Development Levels


Pauly’s Patter tied notes

QuestionQuestion
Joan H., Canada

In Pauly’s Patter, measure 20, is there a reason why the third chord (on the beat of +3) is written as a tie instead of a quarter note, like the chords before and after it? It would seem that within a measure, it would simplify the “look” of the rhythm as a quarter note and have three quarters in succession in this measure.

Measure 9 is another example where there is a tie within the measure instead of a quarter note. I appreciate that we are exposing students to different ways of writing rhythm – ties are handy across measures, less common within a measure from my experience.

Answer
Anna J., Canada

There are conventions that govern how beats can be grouped in a bar. For example, you can group 4 eighth notes together to cover 2 beats, but you would never do so across beats 2 & 3 in 4/4 time (whereas you could across beats 1 & 2 or beats 3 & 4). There are instances even within a bar where one must use ties rather than a quarter note – even though the rhythmic value of the note sounds the same – to follow these conventions of writing music.

I think the syncopation and rhythmic structure is actually easier to see when it’s written this way as opposed to putting in a quarter note. One can see more clearly how the beats line up LH/RH too.

Answer
Stephen R., California

In 4/4 time, beat 1 (the downbeat) is typically strongest, followed by beat 3, then 2 and 4. If I understand this right, you want it to be clear where beat 3 is for rhythmic purposes. That’s why most commonly you see two eighths tied in the middle of the measure, rather than a quarter note.