Learn the theory behind lyric Engraving Rules, including how to syllabify lyrics in a variety of ways and when and how to add lyric lines and hyphens.
- [Instructor] The lyric text style in Sibelius is designed to work best if you're using proper lyric engraving rules. To ensure that the lyric text style works best for you, you must make sure that your lyrics are formatted and syllabified properly. There are some engraving rules, many of which are shown in this example, that are important for you to adhere to when you begin inputting lyrics. First, lyrics normally appear beneath the staff and Sibelius will do that for you. They're written above the staff only if two staves are sharing the same set of lyrics as in a hymn or grand staff situation, or if a staff has two voices with different lyrics, then you'll have a lyric line above and a lyric line below. As you can see here, we have one simple voice and one staff, and the lyrics appear below it. Syllables sung to different notes are always separated by one or more hyphens. You can clearly see that in our example by looking at the words monkey, weasel, penny, needle, and money. If the last syllable of a word continues over several notes, then a lyric line is drawn after the final syllable beneath the notes sung to that syllable. So an example of this in our score is the word all, right here in our second system, and also the word needle at the end of this word. And you'll use the space bar in Sibelius to have it draw in that lyric line for you. Next any punctuation after the final syllable comes before the lyric line, so here at the end of the third system I've set this up for you, where after the word needle we have a comma, and then the lyric line, so you don't space through and then put the comma, you put the comma and then space through. And next if the first or middle syllable of a multi-syllabic word continues over several notes, then hyphens are continuously used along the notes sung to that syllable. The example of this in our file is the word cobblers up here in bar two. You would enter the first syllable C-O-B then press the hyphen, not the space bar, actually twice, first to move to the A and a second time to move here to the F-sharp. So it would hyphenate through the tide or slurred in this case notes to the next articulated note where you would then type in the last syllable, this one here, blurs. Now syllables or words cannot be input below slurred notes except at the start of the slur, so anywhere in this example file that you see a slur, like here and here, you'll notice that the slurred notes, the non-articulated notes here and here do not have words or syllables assigned to them, because those notes are not meant to be articulated. And generally if a multi-syllabic word separates where there are two consonants the consonants can be broken up by hyphens. Like in cobblers we split between the two b's, the word monkey between the n and the k, and the word penny between the two n's. Generally if a multi-syllabic word separates at a point where there is a vowel followed by a consonant, the consonant becomes the first letter of the second syllable, so up here around, the r begins the second syllable, weasel, the s begins that second syllable, needle, the d begins the second syllable, and money, the n begins the second syllable. And finally, if a word is separated into consonants by two vowels, typically you would hyphenate between the two vowels. Now we don't have an example of that in this file so I'm going to use the word Sibelius, I'll just double-click up here and type it underneath the word traditional for you. How I would hyphenate this would be S-I hyphen, B-E, hyphen, here's the consonant starting the next syllable L-I and now we have two vowels between the i and the u, you would hyphenate after the i and then put U-S. There are of course exceptions and differing schools of thought when it comes to lyric engraving rules but adapting a few of the basic rules I've just outlined, most of which you see here in this simple traditional song will make lyric input easier for you, it will give your lyrics a more professional look, and it will make it easier for your singers to sing.
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