The song I'm playing is in 4/4 and there's a measure with 8 slurred eighth notes, except the first one is dotted. So that would actually be 4.25 beats... but I'm assuming they just want me to let the first note ring for an extra .25 beats while continuing on. But isn't that redundant if the notes are already slurred and thus meant to continue ringing...?

Thanks for any help.
What song is it? Either it is transcribed poorly or you are mistaking a sixteenth note for an eighth note in there somewhere. Or it could be a weirdly placed staccato dot? It would help if you could post a picture.
Okay, here is the picture:


Another thing I was wondering that I forgot to ask is how I should interpret the rests that are placed directly below some of the notes?
Last edited by RowanF at Apr 13, 2015,
That's two voice writing. So you have the top voice which is straight eighths and then the bottom voice which is a dotted quarter on D. The rests underneath are for the second voice. And it's not redundant because slurs don't mean to let notes ring.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Apr 13, 2015,
Ahh, now I see the other line extending down from that note. That renders it a quarter note, even if it's still connected horizontally to those eight notes then I imagine. But I'm not sure what you mean by the rests are for the second voice? Even the lower measure is also filled with notes and there are other parts in the song where the lower measure has its own rest while there is simultaneously a rest in the higher measure.
Okay, and I assume that means you can play through each staff either choosing to adhere to the rests or play the notes? Strange that my book didn't explain this, it is a beginner's book after all. Thanks for your help though.
No both voices are played simultaneously. Sometimes one voice has rests while the other has notes and sometimes they both have notes. The two voices show two lines that are happening at the same time.
EDIT: Okay, I think I get what you're saying. The rests just indicate that the original dotted quarter note has come to an end. Thank you.
Last edited by RowanF at Apr 13, 2015,
You're not getting me. So there are two staves right? Probably a treble staff and a bass staff. I'm assuming it's piano music so the top staff would be the right hand and the bottom staff would be the left hand. Those staves are played at the same time. Each of those staves have two voices (or lines) that are played at the same time as well. In total there are four simultaneous voices: two in the treble staff and two in the bass staff.

So when you see notes and rests on one staff at the same time it means that one of the staff's voices has notes and the other has rests, or in other words only one voice is playing at that time.

Yeah, I was thinking by voices you were just describing the two staves. But thank you.
Quote by RowanF
But isn't that redundant if the notes are already slurred and thus meant to continue ringing...?

The notes are slurred, but it doesn't mean they should continue ringing. It means legato - there's no silence between the notes. You continue playing the first note until you play the second note. If there were no slurs, it would mean you should play every note separately. There would be a very short silence between every note. If the silence between the notes is longer, we call it staccato.
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Two voice writing is useful, because otherwise you would need to use a lot of ties and stuff. It would just look really bad and confusing.