Lyric re-alignment request

When I write vocal music, I’m often changing my mind about exact rhythms, and it’s really pesky to have to go into engrave mode and nudge lyrics around to match the new note spacing. It would be great to have a fix for this.

I note that a while ago, Daniel wrote:

“Lyrics are not tied directly to the presence or duration of notes, so they do not at present get edited when changes are made to the notes that were present when they were themselves created. It’s not a simple thing to change, and I’m not sure in general that I know how we would change it to do the right thing in every circumstance, but it’s something that we would like to put some more thought into in future.”

Would love it if your thoughts bear fruit. Don’t need to know why lyrics aren’t tied to notes, but I’d like them to be in this case.

Thanks much,


  1. Don’t move lyrics in engrave mode just because the rhythm has changed. Better to move them to the new beat position, and then they will behave as normal.
  2. When you change a rhythm, you can move the note and the lyric syllable together if you select them both and nudge them (by the grid amount) with the shortcut keys.
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You shouldn’t need to use Engrave mode: just select the lyric and move it in Write mode along the duration grid.

While I completely understand your request, this post gives a reason why always having the syllables attached to the notes rather than to beats and sub-bests in a measure might take away a useful option in the present system.

mmm well I kinda see what you mean, but I’ve done tons of theatre writing in Sibelius, and never had an issue with interpolating spoken text as plain text. Seems like a really limited case.

Thanks…it’s a little fiddly selecting both lyric and note, but I’ll get used to it I guess.


Marya, what I do in these cases: I select a part of the previous text, then Cut it (Cmd-X/ctrl-X). After having changed the rhythm, I go back into Lyric input note with Shift-L and just drop (paste) the text back in, syllable by syllable (Cmd-V/ctrl-V). It’s a very fast and efficient method, when changing more than one note.
This method also works well, when inputting lyrics into contrapuntal choir music. Choose a text line in one part (usually by selecting a passage and filtering the lyrics), copy it, then use this clipboard to paste into another part with a different rhythm.

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