# What is the correct way to divide notes?

I recently decided that I finally want to learn musical notation and I'm stuck. I'm not sure how to divide notes so that my sheet would be easy to read. I think the subdivisions should be clearly visible and I'm not quite sure if I'm not generating too many ties in places where, for example, I could put a dotted note. It would be fantastic if I could get any feedback on my transcription of this simple melody.

EDIT:

@BruceFields pointed out that this melody comes from a song titled "When the Saints Go Marching In" and I should have written the rhythm differently. If I understood it correctly it should look like this.

While he's absolutely right my question was more about dotted notes vs tied notes in a situation like below.

• Try using triplets for the groups of three eighth notes as it seems that's how you are using them (had more elegant comment, but the comments closed out twice). – Dom May 30 '18 at 19:54
• If that's "Oh when the saints", the first thing to fix is that you're off by an eighth note; those phrases start after the beat and end on the beat, so you should be starting with an eighth note rest. – Bruce Fields May 30 '18 at 20:07
• @BruceFields Yeah, I didn't even know the title of the song that this melody is from. Thanks for providing it. I just wanted to practice transcribing something "by ear". I heard this melody somewhere and it seemed like an easy one for a beginner, but as it comes out, there are catches. I'll try to fix it. – Protecto May 30 '18 at 20:20
• Triplets on the 8th notes would change the rhythm. It's not the same as counting 3 eight notes in 4/4. – ggcg May 30 '18 at 21:31

As you already said, it's up to you to decide what is more readable.

The example you provided is full of syncopes. In this case I think you made the right choices by using ties, because one can easily see that the note begins just before it "should". A dotted note that begins before the beat and extends all though it would be more confusing.

PS: I think you should start with half note rest, eight note rest, then start the melody, so that G is the first beat of the second bar. At least this is the version of this song I'm familiar with.

• I think that's the answer I was looking for. "A dotted note that begins before the beat and extends all though it would be more confusing." So it seems that showing the underlying beat is important for readability. – Protecto May 30 '18 at 22:05
• There are definitely grouping rules when it comes to tied notes, it certainly is not just a matter of personal preference. – Neil Meyer May 31 '18 at 8:46
• "G is the first beat of the second bar." Whoops, you're right of course, my bad. – Bruce Fields Jun 1 '18 at 0:39