enter image description here

I have a soprano and alto both sharing the same pitch but the alto should be a dotted quarter/crotchet note while the soprano is an eighth/quaver note. How can I write this so it is correct?


2 Answers 2


You can do it as you have in the image. Strictly speaking, it's ambiguous as to whether the dot belongs to the alto (quarter note/crotchet) or to the soprano (eighth note/quaver), but the context makes this clear.

Another option is to use two noteheads, placing the one having an upward stem to the left of the one having a downward stem, so the stems are nearly aligned but not touching. This makes it clearer where the dot applies. Like this:

enter image description here

  • @Aelianus_Adolphus thanks for adding the example.
    – phoog
    Feb 1, 2022 at 19:43
  • 2
    @armani one problem, though, is that the spacing in this example is very different from that in yours. This approach looks more crowded and chaotic in more closely spaced music. It might take some experimentation to find a layout that allows separate noteheads without the spacing changing too drastically.
    – phoog
    Feb 2, 2022 at 8:20
  • The two notehead approach is all I've ever seen. It doesn't take up any more space than a 2nd or cluster.
    – trlkly
    Feb 3, 2022 at 4:21
  • @trlkly you need a little more horizontal separation because the noteheads are on the same line or space.
    – phoog
    Feb 3, 2022 at 9:45

You can displace the dotted quarter if you like, though the dot will tend to make this look messy. But what you have written is quite acceptable.

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