Lyrics only as cue in an instrumental part => possible?

Dear fellow Dorico users,

is it possible to insert lyrics (and only the lyrics) of a vocal part as cue into an instrumental part?

Up to now I couldn’t really get my head around this… the only workaround I could come up with, is to set the notes of the cue as “rhythmic cue” and colour them white manually so that they would blend in with the paper background. This would leave the vocals cued in.
It’s sort of possible but it’s quite a hassle

Is there a more elegant way I haven’t been able to see yet?

Many greetings to you all!

The easier way is to make a duplicate staff for the vocal part, call it “Lyric Cues,” and copy everything from the vocal line into that.

Then… delete the notes, and the lyrics remain. That’s a handy feature of lyrics in Dorico - they’re able to exist independently from notes. You can then cue from the lyrics-only staff (and remove it from all layouts).

If you want the vocal part name to appear in the cue, you’ll need to rename the lyric cue duplicate part with an added space, so Dorico doesn’t try to automatically number the two vocal parts.

PS: I do find that when I do this, the lyrics crunch together. I often need to manually space them out in Engrave mode.

lyric cue.png

Great advice, Dan! Thanks a lot!!!

Thanks Dan!

Thanks for this suggestion. I’m transcribing an opera at the moment, and I need these kinds of lyric cues for recitatives. I found that using a hidden cue staff works, but deleting the notes as described leaves you with cluttered lyrics as Dan described, but also extra rests which take the place of the notes I’ve deleted, and which I can’t seem to get rid of. Even doing a ‘remove rests’ in the source bar doesn’t remove the rest in the cued bar. Curious to know, Dan, how you got rid of yours in that example. The only way I’ve been able to find to do it is, rather than deleting the notes, hiding the stems and leger lines in Engrave mode, and then setting the noteheads to a custom set with no notehead. That has the bonus that the lyrics retain their rhythmic spacing, but it’s a bit of a pain to execute.

Double click to invoke the caret. Right and left arrows to move it along the grid. Shift-L to open the lyrics popover.

Don’t put notes in.

Aside from the spacing, the only annoyance is that hitting Space after a lyric will take you to the next note, so rather than hitting Space you need to hit Enter, then move the caret along the grid, then type Shift-L again for the next lyric.

Of course, if it’s the sort of lyric cue where the start and end position matters but the rhythmic positions in between don’t matter, you may be better off using Shift-X text.

Thanks Leo, that’s getting closer to what I need. Filtering lyrics and then cutting and pasting them onto a blank staff does the same job (and saves me entering them twice). The surplus rests appear in Galley View, but not in the part, which is what counts. I thought about using system text, but I need to exclude the cues from the score, and I’m not sure how else to do that other than to use the built-in cues. It’s important to set ‘Use clef of destination instrument’ in this context, too, because played notes overlap with cued lyrics and you don’t want them suddenly changing clef.

Incidentally for anyone following along, I found my previous solution of hiding stems and noteheads worked fine until there was a passage with a rest in it, which of course lots of these recitatives have. Also, rhythm dots don’t disappear just because the notehead does. So I discarded that plan.

Pretty happy with this result, and it’s not too much work to put together.image

Certainly in recent versions, it’s possible to hide Text (whether System Text or Staff Text) from the properties panel. With the Set local properties switch set to Local you can hide the text item(s) in the score layout only. I use this all the time for V.S. and (time) indications before page turns.

Ah, that’s good to know. I had a feeling Dorico had retreated somewhat from it’s anti-hiding-anything stance, but I’d never used those options before. Still, solutions that don’t rely on me to get stuff right are better than those that do, other things being equal.

Just an update to this to say that I settled on the following process, which is not without compromises, but seems to be the best fit for what I’m doing (i.e. many many of these cues in a large opera project). Dorico 3.5.

  1. Create a Vocal Cues Instrument, hidden in full score. If I did it again, I’d use a snare drum or other unpitched instrument.
  2. In Galley View, select everything in all vocal staves and paste special-reduce into the Vocal Cues part. This will need editing here and there, but it gets most of the information where it needs to be, and quickly.
  3. Select everything in the Vocal Cues part, then filter out lyrics. Set everything else to a custom scale of 1%.
  4. Select everything again and filter in lyrics. Flip them to the top of the staff.
  5. At places where you want lyric cues, enter them as normal. If you’ve used an unpitched instrument for the cue staff, then they’ll automatically create as rhythmic cues. If not, change them to rhythmic cues. (This avoids having orphaned leger lines appear randomly depending on instrument ranges etc). Also turn on “Hide rests around cue”.
  6. When all cues are entered, replace the short name of the vocal cue instrument with a space to hide the instrument name.

Pros of this method:

  • avoids having to retype lyrics
  • rhythmic spacing of lyrics is maintained without having to adjust in Engrave mode
  • pretty quick to implement in most instances
  • creates detailed and accurate cues

Cons of this method:

  • sometimes cues come out looking much too high above the staff, and there’s no way to move them in Engrave mode. Sometimes seems to be avoiding collisions with unseen objects, and it can take a while to diagnose.
  • some (but not all) rhythmic dots don’t hide when scaling down. Workaround is to edit the rhythm in the cue staff to make them undotted.
  • the small line under a minim rest in the cue also doesn’t hide when scaled down. Workaround is to edit the rhythm in the cue staff to replace with two crotchet rests.
  • stem, beam, articulation directions of played notes under the lyric cues will need to be adjusted (D treats notes under rhythmic cues as being in a separate voice, and adjusts beams and stems accordingly - an option to change this behaviour would be very helpful).
  • fermatas don’t hide, so you get a small cue fermata. I’m just moving it in Engrave mode to place it over the appropriate lyric, which gives the performer a little more information about where the singer will be pausing, so I don’t think it hurts, but it’s not something you’d see in original parts.
  • I’ve found random rests sometimes appearing as I’m tweaking in Engrave mode. Workaround is to either toggle on and off ‘Hide rests around cue’, or if that doesn’t work, shorten the cue by one gradation and then lengthen it again.

Hope this helps someone else trying to do what I’m doing – I’ve put a fair bit of experimentation time into figuring out this method. May all become redundant in a future version, but until then …

A few additional notes on the previous workaround (as it took me some time to figure out):

  • When you define a custom scale for the non-lyrics elements in the lyrics cue part, make sure that “Set local properties” is set to “Globally”, otherwise it wouldn’t apply to the part layouts.

  • Defining custom scale 1% does not completely hide ties, slurs, and beams. To overcome this:

    1. Select all and use “cut” to remove all ties
    2. Select all and do Filter > Slurs and delete, to remove all slurs.
    3. Select all and do Filters > Deselect Only, Filter > Rests, and Filter > Lyrics. Now go to the Engrave mode. If only notes are selected, you should have the option of “hide note head” and “hide stem”.
    4. Proceed as described before to set custom scale of 1% (to hide rests etc).

    There might be other things that needs special hiding, but added this here should anyone find this useful.

I believe this should be supported natively by Dorico, as it’s a very valid and common use case to be able to cue using lyrics alone.