Lyric verses

Having struggled for years with Finale’s arcane lyrics mechanism, there is much to like about the way that Dorico handles them. However, there are two specific things I have yet to figure out:

    1. How do I enter verse 2 lyrics underneath verse 1 (and subsequent verses, etc)?

    1. How do I add verse numbers at the start of each verse? (I am accustomed to typing “1”+“.”+[hard space], but this doesn’t seem to work in Dorico.

I am greatly enjoying exploring Dorico right now, and look forward to adopting it as my go-to scoring application.

  1. Simply hit the down arrow key: the number in the popover changes to show you that you’re now inputting another line of lyrics. Alt+down arrow takes you to the translation line for the current line of lyrics (denoted as e.g. 1* for the translation line for the first line of lyrics); up arrow from line 1 takes you to the chorus line (denoted as “c” in the popover). Shift+up arrow takes you to a completely separate set of lyrics positioned above the staff, rather than below.

  2. You can add verse numbers using the options on the Lyrics page of Engraving Options.

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Thank you, Daniel. These are very elegant implementations, and the Lyrics page of Engraving Options is tremendous.
Dorico’s implementation of lyrics already knocks spots off its rivals!

As a Finale user who’s getting used to Dorico and who very much believes in it’s potential, in all fairness I just thought to mention:

  1. in Finale you also enter verse 2 lyrics by pressing the down arrow, although there are other means of showing that you’re entering another versie of lyrics;
  2. Verse numbers can also be entered using the options in the Score Manager. If you’re still using numbers + hard spaces, then you haven’t been keeping up with Finale’s updates.

Regarding 2. the auto numbering is activated in the Lyrics menu>Auto-numbering sub-menu, not in the Score Manager :slight_smile:

Haha! I have kept up with the updates, but I’m still doing these tasks the way I’ve always done them! I will now go and explore these “new” methods.

You’re right. Sorry!

I love how this works thus far. A future feature request: give us the option to repeat verses numbers at the start of each system. Many of us in the liturgical composition field are in favor of this method, as it is a huge help to congregations in their singing.

Since my question is about verse numbers I will post it here as well.

I’ve added 5 verses to a melody. Yes I agree that this is elegantly accomplished. Then I added the verse numbers. However, the verse number 1 also appeared on the Refrain at the beginning of the piece bars away from the actual verses. How does one remove this?

There’s another quirk . . . Not all 5 verses begin on the same beat and that messes up the position of the verse number. I can select the first verse number and move it to the proper place to line up with the other verse numbers by using alt/arrow in engrave mode, however none of the other verse numbers can be selected. Is this a bug?
Screen Shot 2016-11-10 at 11.59.11 AM.png

I think you’d need to enter your refrain as a chorus lyric to avoid this… Select the text you want, then right-click, select “Lyrics/Line/Chorus.” If you don’t want them italicized, change it in Engrave/Font Styles/Chorus lyrics font.

NB: there needs to be a faster/easier way to use chorus/translation lyrics.

Well that was interesting . . . . I did as you suggested however even though I selected just the words of the refrain, and changed it to Chorus, it also changed verse one text to chorus and put it in the middle of the verses. It changes everything in the piece on that line, not just the text you select.
Screen Shot 2016-11-10 at 12.55.48 PM.png

Well, smack my face and call me Silly. Sorry my advice caused that!

To line up verse (stanza) numbers, try adding a hard space in place of an initial (missing) syllable.

A faster way to get to the chorus lyrics line: simply press up arrow from the first line. The little read-out in the popover that tells you the line number changes to a “c”.

Thank you Derek, on Mac the hard space should be Option/Space but that does not work. What did you use?

And Daniel, once text has already been typed into verse one, I guess there is no way to change a few words to a chorus, but leave the remaining text as verse one. Because the verse one, (after the chorus) gets changed to the chorus as well.

Not so: you can change the verse number of any selected lyric(s) using the Properties panel.

To David26, I noted that on another thread : the hard space is achieved with ctrl-alt-Space in Dorico, and I agree that alt-space would be better !

Yes, Option-Space has been the keystroke for non-breaking space for a third of a century on Mac, and it should not be overridden by an application.

Hi Daniel,

Yes I know that and that’s great. However, I don’t think you are understanding my perdicament. Originally I created plain lyrics for the first 18 bars. The next 8 bars was composed of 5 verses on top of each other. In engrave options under lyrics, verse numbers, I chose “show verse numbers”. They were numbered 1-5. Great!

Then I went to change the first 18 bars (plain lyrics) to a chorus. I selected the text from the first 18 bars and made them the chorus from the properties panel. However, doing that also changed verse one to the chorus, even though verse one text was not selected. That’s what I meant in my quote above. Making lyrics a chorus after the fact, changes verse one to a chorus as well, I assume because they are on the same line. Perhaps this should not happen.


You should be able to move the lyrics you want to become a chorus into a new line, e.g. line 6, and then make that line into a chorus, which shouldn’t affect the others.