Verse numbers in brackets

It would be really useful to parenthesize verse numbers after the first system, as a gude for singers when there are several verses between staves. I suppose this could be a switchable option in the properties panel, but really would be more useful in engraving options as a setting.


Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t think I’ve seen this much myself – is this convention used by particular publishers, or in music for particular ensembles? I’d be interested to see some examples.

I would be worried about the parentheses taking up horizontal space unnecessarily, so I’m curious how such verse numbers are typically positioned?

Hi Daniel

Many thanks for getting in touch. I don’t think this usage is all that common, but it is out there – I’ve attached an example from the Oxford Book of Carols, and added one of my own, mocked-up by dropping a text frame over the music. It seems to be used in cases where there might be confusion as to which verse is which, or (as in my example) there are so many verses that the chorister’s eye may slip to the wrong one. My preferred option in situations like this is to repeat the notation and limit the lyrics to three or four verses per system, but sometimes you just don’t have the room.

If this were to be implemented, I think it would work best as an option alongside “Show verse number” in the properties panel, though it could be an engraving option. It would be nice to have additional control over the scaling as well, but that’s a taller order, I guess!

Kind regards, and keep up the great work!

Rob KB


OBC scan.pdf (586 KB)

As the Disciples.pdf (44.1 KB)

I’m grateful for the examples. For a 6-verse hymn such as the second example I find it much more effective to just add a little extra space between verses 3 and 4. The eye can stay oriented by “chunking” the information much more quickly & easily than reading numbers in parentheses, and/or distinguishing italics from roman.

For the first example I would expect to add in those extra numbers as text objects, especially because of the shared alleluya lines. But maybe that’s just my old habit. (I note that the second of those alleluyas is well-centered vertically while the first is a bit higher than center, nearly aligning with the first line of verse 2.)


Thanks Mark - I did attempt to break up the text in my own example by using italics for alternate lines, but adjusting the spacing is probably a better solution.

In my own practice of hymn engraving, every system gets numbers—no parentheses—regardless. In the OBC example, I would be happy with or without parentheses, but would probably go without.

What would be eminently useful, though, would be the ability to override on some local level the text displayed for the verse numbers… to be able to say 1–3., or Antiphon in lieu of the first number. This would also allow for adding parentheses.

To Mark’s comment, I would love to be able to designate “add X space between every X verses.”