Join Jenny Amaya for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with lyrics, part of Sibelius 7 Essential Training.
Entering lyrics in Sibelius can be a very fun exercise; it's actually one of my favorite features to demonstrate. There are some built-in features to this Text Style that make it quite different from other Text Styles and I think you'll be amazed at how intuitive it is. As a Text Style, lyrics default below the Staff, centered under a note with a plain text font. As usual, there are many ways to input lyrics. In this video, I'll show you the most obvious way which is by typing them in. First, I've made some adjustments to our Score. I've added some vocal staves for us so that we can enter the lyrics on vocal staves, rather than in the instrumental parts. So let's get started.
Go ahead, and select the Soprano part, I'm just going to click in bar 1 here, and we're going to go ahead and focus on the Soprano part. So we're going to go up to the Ribbon, to the Layout tab, and on the right here where it says Hiding Staves, there is Focus on Staves right there, go ahead and select that, and now we've focused on that Soprano part. I'm going to zoom in just a little bit, so we can see it better, and hit Escape to deselect. Just like entering an expression marking, the best way to begin entering lyrics is by selecting the note where the lyrics are going to begin.
So I'm going to go ahead and select the first note in the Soprano. And the lyrics have their own group in the Text tab. So let's go to the Text tab, and here's the Lyrics group and to bring up the Text Style, go ahead and click on this, right here where it says Lyrics. There are a couple of different lyric Text Styles; the main lyric Text Style is Lyrics line 1. So let's go ahead and select that, and Sibelius gives us our flashing cursor. I think we all know the words to this tune, but just in case you don't, I'll go ahead and walk you through them.
All we have to do is begin typing the lyrics. The first word is Row. So I'm going to go ahead and type "Row," and now if I use the Spacebar, Sibelius will advance me to the next note. So Spacebar, "row," comma, Spacebar, and we can continue going on with the lyrics, "row your boat," and again Spacebar continues to advance me note by note. Now, we've arrived at a multisyllabic word: gently. So what we can do now is we can type in the first syllable, let's do "gent", and instead of using Spacebar, now we'll use the hyphen to advance us to the next note.
So the hyphen key, and finish the word, and Spacebar now, and continue on "down the stream." Spacebar will continue moving us to the next system, and now we have another multisyllabic word merrily, so I'm going to type-in "Mer" hyphen advances me to the next note, "ri-" and "ly". At the end of that word, we need to hit Space and continue typing merrily again.
If you make a mistake, you can just use Backspace as if you're in a word processor, and then type again, here we go, "-ly" and Spacebar and let's finish this up with "life is but a dream." When you're done typing, go ahead and hit Escape. Now, it didn't happen in this example, but sometimes you'll have a single word that needs to be held across several notes. So let's start typing in these lyrics again from bar 9. I'm going to select the D right there. Now, instead of going up to the Ribbon this time, I'm going to use the shortcut for the basic line of lyrics which is Ctrl+L or Command+L, I have my flashing cursor, and I can start typing these lyrics again.
Now, in bar 10, let's pretend that the next word row needs to be stretched across all three of these notes. So I'm going to type in row and put in the comma, and hit Spacebar, and instead of doing anymore typing, I'm just going to continue hitting Spacebar through those three notes, and Sibelius will draw in that underscore for me. And then you can begin typing the next syllable in bar 11. So, if this was gently, we would type the first syllable, and the hyphen, and then we could finish off the word gently.
But, let's pretend in bar 11 now that we have that first syllable of the word gently that's going to be sung through all four of these notes in the bar. So we've got the first syllable in there, we've hit the Hyphen key, We're going to continue hitting that Hyphen key all the way through that bar until we arrive at the final note where we're going to put that last syllable in there. So now I can type ly, period (.), and go ahead and Escape. Obviously, our third system of lyrics is entirely incorrect. So sometimes you'll have to go back in and make corrections to lyrics just like you make corrections to other text, and you can edit lyrics just like any other text.
If you had one word wrong, you could go in and double-click on that one word and then you're in Word Processor mode, so you can Backspace and retype, and get it correct, and then hit Escape. You can also delete a single lyric by clicking on it, and using Backspace or Delete. But if you need to delete an entire line of lyrics, the easiest way to do that is by using an Edit command called Select More. So to do that, we're going to select one member of the line of lyrics that we need to edit or delete, so I'm going to select one of these words here in the third system, we're going to go to the Home tab, into the Select group here, and we're going to select More, so we're going to choose the More button and you'll notice that Sibelius has selected all of the lyrics in our third system for us.
Now, we can do things like use our arrow keys to move them up and down, or if they're entirely incorrect, we can just delete them all at once. The next step working with lyrics is to copy and paste them. For this piece, the lyrics just continue to repeat. So instead of continuing to type them in over and over again, it would make a lot more sense to type them in once and then to copy and paste them in as we need them. So let's do that. First, we need to make a selection of all of the lyrics. Now we could use the Select More command, but since we have more than one line of lyrics, let's try this a different way.
Select all of the bars containing all of the lyrics that you're going to be copying. So I'm going to click in bar 1 and hold down Shift, and click here in bar 8. Now, we're going to ask Sibelius to filter out these lyrics. So we're going to go to the Home tab, again to the Select group, and this time we're going to click on the Filter icon above the word Filter. And since we're working with lyrics, we're going to ask Sibelius to filter out lyrics. So go ahead and select that. And now Sibelius has filtered out and selected all of those lyrics from the passage.
Now we can copy the lyrics to our clipboard, Ctrl+C or Command+C, and we're going to select the note where we want Sibelius to paste them in at. So I'm going to scroll down a little bit here with my Scroll Wheel, and select the D here in bar 9, and now we can paste, Ctrl+V or Command+V, and Sibelius does all of that hard work for us. So we really have just touched the surface of working with lyrics, but hopefully you're already having a little bit of fun with them. If you're working with this Exercise File, go ahead and finish the lyrics for the remaining bars, and the remaining vocal staves.
It will be a very good practice for you, and we'll see you and your completed vocal staves in the next video.
Prerequisite: A basic understanding of music notation and theory will yield the best results from this course.
- Working with Magnetic Layout
- Setting essential preferences
- Controlling basic score playback
- Ensuring good score readability and organization
- Adding time signatures and key signatures
- Entering notes, rests, accidentals, and chords
- Inputting notation with a MIDI keyboard
- Creating and extending slurs and phrase marks
- Engraving and formatting
- Saving time with quick key shortcuts
- Printing and exporting a completed project
- Sharing scores via the Scorch plug-in