In the Lyrics class, we go in depth about the lyric tool and its sub-tools. We’ll discuss best practices and techniques to get lyrics into the score with minimal fuss.
- The Lyric tool
- “Sub-Tools” in the Lyric Tool
- Formatting – Lyric Hyphenator Website
- Click Entry: Single and Bulk
- Lyrics and Layers
- Melismas and Non-Breaking Spaces
The Lyrics Window
The Lyrics Window has 2 main parts: the tools menu at the top, with options to select the song part type or verse number, and the lyrics field beneath. Each song part supports countless verses.
You can type directly into this window, or paste it in from another application such as MS Word or any text editor. The editor supports “Rich Text”, so your fonts and formatting from the source stay with the lyrics in Finale.
Sub-Tools in the Lyric Tool
This tool is for typing directly into the score, instead of the lyrics window.
Typing directly into the score works best in-line in a single staff. Unexpected results can occur when typing lyrics into different locations in a multi-staff score. We use it most often to make corrections after lyrics are already in the score. We find it easier to prepare lyrics in another application and use Click Assignment to enter them.
Click Assignment Tool
Click Assignment has two modes: single click and option-click. The first assigns one syllable at a time, stepping to the next after each entry. The latter tries to automatically apply the entire string of lyrics, stringing them out under the available entries. This works well if the lyrics match the entries, and they’re properly hyphenated prior to pasting them into the lyrics window.
Edit Word Extensions Tool
Finale adds line extensions to lyrics automatically to signal the duration of the word to the reader. There are times when these need to be edited or removed, and this is the tool for that.
Adjust Syllable Tool
The Adjust Syllable Tool changes the position of a syllable relative to the note it’s assigned to. It can also be used to remove a syllable without affecting the position of the lyric string. This can be useful for resolving syllable collisions or making corrections.
Shift Lyrics Tool
When entering a string, sometimes there’s another note needed, or a tie is missing, resulting in misplacement of the remainder of the lyric following the problem. This tool can be used to realign the misplaced lyrics after you’ve repaired the error in the entries.
Clone Lyrics Tool
The Clone Lyrics tool enables the copying of a section of a lyric, or the whole of a lyric string, to another location in the score, without displacing other lyrics. Copying lyrics using the Edit filter will create another copy of the lyric, and can cause issues in the Lyric tool. The Clone tool works well, and will update all appearances of a lyric when the first is modified.
It works so well that it’s preferable to copying lyrics in most situations.
Formatting Hyphenation using the Lyric Hyphenator Website
Hyphenation is a necessary and potentially tedious step in lyric entry. There’s a website – http://juiciobrennan.com/hyphenator/ – that automates much of it. The output usually needs a few minor fixes, but it saves a ton of time.
Lyrics and Layers
In some cases, say for the second verse occurring during a repeated section, the fix for mismatched syllable parsing might need to be entered on another layer. In these situations it’s good to use single click at that point, and switch layers when needed, to apply a lyric to the fix, then switch back to the first layer for the remainder.
Melismas and Non-Breaking Spaces
Finale ships with a plugin that automatically finds and writes slurs for all melismas in a score, automatically detecting syllables lasting over more than one note.
There are other times when multiple syllables or words need to be entered during the duration of one note. This can be done with non-breaking spaces (option-Space on the Mac, Ctrl-shift-space on PC).