# Is there any standard notation to "spell" tied notes? [duplicate]

I have written a piece of music in 9/8 time (slip jig time?) where the last note on the bass clef is a note 9 beats long. It can be spelled in eight different ways (some of them are ridiculous):

Whole + Eighth

...Half + .Eighth

..Half + Quarter

.Half + .Quarter

.Quarter + .Half

Quarter + ..Half

.Eighth + ...Half

Eighth + Whole

In my case, I end with a dotted quarter note on the treble clef, so I presume that .Half + .Quarter is the right thing to use, but what should I use in this context? More generally, is there a standard way to notate a note value of any length using ties, or does it depend on the context (like enharmonic spellings)?

• I've updated my answer, having realized I misunderstood your question the first time around. Would appreciate your comment on whether the update helps or muddies the waters. Feb 5, 2023 at 3:29
• I think people forgot the general question when closing as duplicate. Feb 5, 2023 at 16:56
• I think you should edit to refocus on the broader issue. Currently, the post is so focused on the specific issue you encountered that it's too close to the duplicate. Feb 5, 2023 at 17:47

The notation should follow the rules for metric grouping; the tie itself doesn't affect how it's done.

In 9/8 time, where a measure ends with a six-beat note, the proper notation is a dotted half note.

So in the case of the question, it would be a dotted half note tied to a dotted quarter note.

At the "top level", notation should preserve half bars or one-third bars, depending on the simplest division of the meter. The presence of ties doesn't change that, except that within a measure, if a held note crosses a beat division, one might use tied notes; one note for each side of the metric division.

In 9/8 time, that is "3+3+3" time, it's okay to group together the first 3+3 or the second 3+3, depending on the needs of the measure. If the entire measure is one long note, then it should be written with a dotted half note followed by a dotted quarter note.

• I'd add that if there is a prevalent rhythmic pattern, which most tunes will have (particularly dance tunes), that would be a sensible way to use - tie the rhythm notes similarly. The reader has by the last note, 'got into the rhythm'.
– Tim
Feb 5, 2023 at 9:12