Are you using lyrics in your music? If so, you’ll want to know about these helpful tools.
1. Most vocal music these days is beamed according to the time signature, like this:
An older convention, which makes rhythms hard to read but also makes in clearer which syllable goes with which note, called for notes sung to separate syllables to be beamed independently, like so:
Should you need to create music that hews to this older convention, the shipping plug-in Traditional Lyrics Beaming, found in Text > Plug-ins, will automatically do this for you. Just be aware even if you partially select a staff, the entirety of the score will be processed, for that staff:
Finale users will find a similar feature at Utilities > Rebeam > Rebeam to Lyrics.
2. Another convention very much still in use today is to slur melismas, to clarify where syllables start and end. A passage with no slur, like this:
is automatically made into one with slurs…
…by using the Add Slurs to Lyrics plug-in, also found in Text > Plug-ins. Various options allow you to add dashed or dotted slurs, offer to highlight existing slurs if they are incorrectly positioned, or highlight suspect melismas (syllables that don’t have hyphens or lyric lines):
Using Finale? Find this one at Plug-ins > Lyrics > Auto Slur Melismas.
3. Finally, say you’ve entered your first verse of lyrics in line 1 (Text > Lyrics > Lyrics line 1), and then your second verse in line 2 (Text > Lyrics > Lyrics line 2). Sensible enough, but at the last minute you decide you wish to swap the order of the verses.
Bob Zawalich’s Swap or Replace Text Styles will do just that. I covered this very handy plug-in earlier this year, so check out that post for detailed information about how it works and how to get it.