Sometimes we need to join two or more notes together to make one long note, these are called tied notes.
We use tied notes for several reasons. We will discuss two reasons here:
To create a note longer than we can fit in a single bar.
To create a note which is not a standard length.
shows how a tie may be used to play extra long notes. The example is in three time, which means it is impossible to fit more than three beats in a bar. However, the example shows a six beat note created by tying two notes together. The line looped between the two three beat notes makes a single six beat note. A tie may be used between multiple notes to make a note as long as you wish.
shows a slightly different use of the tie. Again, we are in three time but the composer has decided that the third beat in the bar should last for two counts. As above, this is impossible to fit in a single bar because we only have time left for a one beat note. However, the composer may tie a one beat note at the end of the first bar to a one beat not at the start of the second bar to create the two beat note.
Non-standard Length Notes
shows how a tie may be used to create a note of any length. It is not possible to write a single note of two and a half beats but this example shows how useful a tie can be.