Music Theory Education


7. Tied Notes and Slurs

7. tied notes and slurs

Grade 1. lesson 7 tied notes and slurs

Another way to lengthen Notes
Introducing the 'Tie'

Two or more notes can be joined together by a curved line which we call a 'Tie',

When a note is said to be tied, you only play the first note, but hold the value
of the added tied note.

Look at this example below to give you a better idea:


example of tied notes


We are using a tie here to lengthen the minim (half note), we only want to add the

value of 1/2 beat, so we tie a quaver (eighth note) to the minim (half note).
the note is now worth 2 and 1/2 beats.

By doing this, is how we lengthen the note value to 2 and 1/2 beats, we can't
use a dot on this occasion because that would add more value than we need.

The quaver rest (eighth rest) gives the other half of the 3rd beat,
completing the three beat values of the bar.


A Tied note through a bar-line


two crotchet (quarter notes) tied through a bar line

Here we have an example of a tie, through a bar line.

Why would we want to do this?

Well, it is because the composer wanted to use four beats in his first bar,

he can't just write the second note a minim (half note), because of the
time signature of 3 over 4.

So, on this occasion he needs to borrow one beat value from the next bar,
to do this he uses a tie across the bar-line.


When using a 'tie' you only play the first note


It is important to remember, when you have a tied note, you only
play the first of the tied notes.

If you think about our example above, you will see how by

holding the value of the second crotchet (quarter note)
we really do get the extra time value moved to bar 1.

In bar 2. the note in the second space is played on beat two, and
the note on the third line is played on beat 3.

Ties must always be written at the Head of the note like the first example,
never at the stem.

two notes correctly tied


two notes wronly tied

This tie is wrong.


There is no limit to the number of notes which can be tied together.

However, you must make a curved line from each note to the next,
like in the example below.


ties over more than one note


Sometimes you will find a tie on the last note of a line, when this happens, we draw half the tie over the last note,
and the other half over the first note of the next line.

Like this example below.


tie on last music note of line


tie on first music note of next line

Although a line apart, they are joined with the two half's of a tie.

music theory lessons grade one

Music Theory Lessons Grade 1

containing 18 detailed Lessons

This book contains all the information for tied notes and slurs
required for grade one examination, set in lesson 7 of this book

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A Tie, and a Slur

Because the curved line of the Tie looks exactly like the sign
called a Slur, you need to take extra care with these two lines.

When you look at the curved line for the first two notes of the example below, you can see it is going to the very same pitched note,
(both notes are on the same line) therefore,
it must be a Tie.


Tied notes and Slurs

'Tie'  ................................................'Slur'


Looking at the second of the two notes above, the last note is
placed higher in the space above the line, this makes it higher in pitch,
so the curved line must be a Slur.

A slur may be placed over a few notes, it means to play
the notes Legato(smoothly).


Tied Notes and Slurs



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