Lyric line problems

This is frequent problem I have in Dorico when working with lyrics. Often, the extension line from a previous word is extended across multiple rests to join a newly entered note in the same voice. (see attached video link).

To correct this error, I must click on the over-extended word, delete it, retype it, and re-extend it appropriately again. When working on musical theater productions, this behavior happens 100+ times a day. I’d love to see this behavior corrected in a future update. Thanks!

I’m somewhat amazed I’d never stumbled across this one, seeing as I work with musical theatre scores all the time. I guess I’ve always input all the notes before I start fiddling with lyrics. The other thing I’ve spotted is that this bug only shows itself if there are existing notes further on in that stave.

Your quickest way to correct is to:

  1. Select the affected syllable and Cut (Ctrl/Cmd+X)
  2. Select the first note the syllable should attach to and type Shift+L (or set the caret at the correct rhythmic location, if you prefer, then type Shift+L)
  3. Paste and extend.

This is definitely quicker than selecting, deleting, retyping and then extending.

Yes that would be an ideal way to work! When transcribing I enter lyrics phrase by phrase as I go. I’ve found this is the best way for me to know where I am in the score and prevent errors.

Cut/Paste is definitely faster. Thanks. I didn’t think of that because I assumed the line would also be copied. Better. I’d still love to see this over-extension line happen far less often than it does. It’s never fun to go backwards and re-enter something that was fine a second ago.

I’m amazed too, Leo. I use lyrics every day and this has never happened to me, but I put in notes first.

Rather than delete everything or copy/paste, you can also press enter on the offending syllable (opens the lyrics popover) and space forward again.

Thanks for this correction. Just tested and it worked – although I’m certain I’ve tried this a handful of times before with no visible change to the length of the line - that’s why I developed the habit of re-typing the word in the first place. Perhaps there are (were) certain conditions that prohibited this correction in earlier versions (I’ve been doing the ‘re-type correction method’ since I started working in Dorico, about a year ago with Dorico 2). That said, this simpler correction method is working for me now, so thank you. If I discover a situation when/where this doesn’t work, I will repost.

Beyond corrections, I can say confidently that in my musical theatre workflow, I will never need or want a lyric extension line to pass through a rest or an empty bar. I’m sure there are users out there that need this feature, but it would seem the majority of folks (myself included) would prefer an option that simply prevents extend-lines to auto-extend through rests and empty bars. After all – singers can’t sing rests. I use “x” note heads for non-pitched, rhythmic speech, still no need to have an extension over a rest. For regular speech, I use the text tool on a dedicated, single-lined dialogue staff, directly over the piano (the musical director I’m working with in NY has insisted on this method – he does not want character dialogue spread over five or six staves.) In short, never having to correct a lyric line extension through a rest again would be a huge time saver for me, so I’d love to see an option for this in a future version of Dorico.

I’ve used this method since D1. My only guess is that you spaced one-too-many times and therefore it kept going to the next group of notes thereby over extending again. At any rate, I’m glad it worked for you now. I also agree with you that it is probably a good thing to have the option to globally disable extending through rests (although I’m sure someone somewhere will have a good reason to allow it too).

Romanos, I can definitely reproduce the problem - it’s not to do with hitting space one too many times.

If you keep hitting Space through rests to advance the lyric popover, you’re still extending the duration of the last lyric; Dorico stops drawing the lyric extender line at the position of the last note, but the true duration of the lyric is longer, and as soon as a later note exists within the duration of the lyric, the extender line will be drawn to the true duration of the lyric (or to the position of the last note within that duration, whichever comes first).

This isn’t a bug: it’s how lyrics work in Dorico. It may not be a helpful thing to say, but try to avoid extending the duration of the lyric by hitting Space when there are no further notes.

Daniel, how should I extend the word “blue” to cover the E as well as the F, without running into this issue when I then type a note in the next bar?

You can’t, Leo, but that’s the nature of the beast. When you complete “blue”, Dorico has to find the next note in the target voice, and it moves the popover there, setting the duration of the previous lyric to the distance between the popover’s old and new position. If you subsequently add a note in that gap, I would expect the prevailing word/syllable to be sung on that note unless it’s explicitly countermanded by another lyric. And if you create another lyric on that note, the duration of the previous lyric is immediately updated as appropriate. So I don’t see a problem here.

So the simple answer to this (that I’d missed, given I’d never actually come across this “error”)

…is not to correct it at all. Just add the intervening lyrics once you’ve added the intervening notes.

Thanks again, Daniel.

Thank you!!! This little tidbit of information will save me literally hours of correction over the course of a year. Just tested this, and sure enough, it works like a charm – even to correct those mile long extension lines auto-drawn over long chasms of rests.

Honestly, I never would have discovered this on my own. After all, as human beings, it is in our nature to correct errors as they appear. It’s like typing with a spell-checker on. You may type “daw” in an email, and then notice the auto-correct feature has changed this to “dawn”, so naturally, you stop what you’re doing and fix it before typing anything else. God forbid you forget to correct this before pressing send. This example of course is describing a linear workflow, and music creation is rarely linear.

Just so can imagine my workflow, as a arranger/orchestrator in musical theatre I’m constantly going back and revising the same material. In a score of forty songs (including alternately keyed versions), several times a day I’m presented with new material, new lyrics, a new bridge, a new intro, a new verse, a modulation, a transition, two characters are consolidated into one… for months this goes on, through readings and workshops, and ever present are these mysterious lyric extension lines, which show up quite magically as I enter new notes, often traveling over large chasms of rest to meet my cursor. Bear in mind, these lines are being extended from lyrics that I’ve entered months ago, in some cases years ago, from pages that I have immaculately engraved and proofed, so it has been in my nature to freak out and correct them as I see them.

Now I know to just ignore them. This is powerful transformative stuff. Thank goodness for this forum.

I feel your pain, Bill - I’ve been there plenty of times!
Thinking about it, these automatically-lengthened extenders could prove to be a useful proofing tool, as they indicate an absence of lyrics somewhere in the middle…

The easiest fix is: when you come to add more lyrics, just start with the last syllable; select it, press Enter, and then Space as many times as required.

A question in same subject but somehow different :
When I copy and paste a music phrase with lyrics that end with this vocalise line (for exemple from the baritone’s part to the bass part), the line suddenly continue to the next bars and deletes all further lyrics on the bass part (for this example). It drives me crazy !!! does someone here knows how to avoid this without changing my workflow (I always start an arrangement with writing the melody and typing the lyrics, without knowing who will sing what)

Sorry, Assaf, to be sure I understand you, you’re copying and pasting a passage of music with lyrics, and the final lyric attached to the last note you’re pasting is then ending up showing a lyric extender line that extends a long way beyond the end of the pasted material, overwriting any subsequent lyrics? If so, could you please attach a simple example that will allow us to reproduce the problem? Thanks!