Lyric extension behaviour

Not sure what I’ve done wrong here, but a monosyllabic word at the beginning of this lyric received an extension line:


. . . while a monosyllabic word near the end didn’t:


Thanks, in advance, for any help you can share.

Try this:

  1. Click on tend (in Write mode)
  2. Hit Enter.
  3. If the word is selected in the popover, or the cursor’s at the start or middle of the word, move the cursor to the end of the word.
  4. Hit Space.

My suspicion is that that syllable is only one note long at the moment, and the next note has no lyric attached at all.

One indicator that supports Leo’s hypothesis and that you can know for the future is that the syllable appears to be centre-aligned with the notehead. Lyrics that span multiple notes are automatically left-aligned with noteheads. Info here.

Thanks, pianoleo & Lillie.

Leo (if I may call you that?), the cursor always shows up at the end of the word, and hitting ‘space’ takes me to the next note, which is supposed to be attached, as the second note sung to “tend” – but which doesn’t show up as a line extension. Hitting space once more takes me to the next note, with its syllable.

Lillie, my settings in the Lyrics section of Engrave Options have been the factory defaults all along – no changes to them, so – whatever the alignment should be for lyrics that span multiple notes – Dorico has (I hope) been doing what it’s supposed to do. However: while following Leo’s suggestion, something strange happened: “tend” moved a little over to the left – but this still didn’t lead to a line extension to the next note. In fact, when I tried the manoeuvre again, “tend” moved back to its original alignment.

If you want “tend” to span 2 notes, you have to press Space twice. The second press of Space will cause Dorico to recalculate its horizontal position and show an extender line if there’s sufficient horizontal space.

Here’s an example in action. In step 12, a lyric spans 2 notes. You can see it’s now left-aligned. However, it doesn’t show an extender line as in that context, there isn’t sufficient horizontal space. Extender lines stop at the final notehead they reach to.

Please do call me Leo - it’s my name!

Yes, I should have said Space twice. My bad.

Thanks, Lillie.

I just did as you suggested, and - yes - the syllable moved – but still no extension line:


I’ve added further info to my comment, please reread it.

Whoa . . . this is new to me, and I’ve been doing leadsheets for decades! I just double-checked with Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars, and you’re right. . .

One would think that the syllable would be centred (rather than left-aligned) beneath its note, so as to provide enough room for the line extension, but . . . I guess not!

If you want that, you’re welcome to change it.

For what it’s worth, in vocal music it is standard practice to slur only melismatic notes. In your example, you would slur the pitches “A” and “C” of “tend.” The singer will know to sing those notes on the word “tend” even if it doesn’t generate an extension line. Hope this helps!

Thanks, Lillie, but if Gould says that’s how it is, then that’s how it is! :wink:
Now I know.

Come to think of it, I likely have been faced with the same thing while working in Finale, but didn’t stop to think that it may not have been a bug, but actual practice . . . in Finale, I would simply move the word back, and extend the extension line manually.

Thanks, James!

I did realize the necessity of a slur there, but hadn’t gotten around to changing the passage. I had applied the lyrics to an exercise that is in two-part, first species counterpoint, for one of my students, and I wanted to point out the relative independence of each part’s phrasing – via phrase marks, of course. :wink:

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