How to export lyrics with a MIDI file?

• Mar 3, 2016 - 19:09

I'm trying out MuseScore, to see what it can do. I imported a MIDI file which contained lyrics, made a few alterations, then exported another MIDI file. The new MIDI file contained no lyrics.

Is it possible to include lyrics in a MIDI file exported from MuseScore?

I want to do this so that members of my choir - many of whom don't read music - can open the files in e.g. vanBasco's Karaoke Player for practice purposes.


Unfortunately, lyrics export has not been implemented for MIDI yet, nor is it likely to be soon because the format is so limited (as soon as you add lyrics to a second voice or verse the export becomes nontrivial).

However, MuseScore is the best karaoke machine there is, and it's free, so why not send them the MSCZ files and a link to download MuseScore? Even if they can't read music they can still follow along with the lyrics. They can control playback with the Play Panel and use the Mixer to mute other sections of the choir.

Alternatively, simply upload the scores to to have a videoscore created which they can watch in their browser if you share a link with them.

In reply to by jeetee

I have been creating MIDI files, so members of my choir can use them for practice purposes. MIDI has the advantage that the format has been around a long time, and most devices can handle it. (MP3 is OK but, of course, doesn't include the lyrics, and the files are a lot bigger.) For each song, I prepare five MIDI files - one for each voice, and one for the whole song.

A few of the choir are musically and technologically literate; they can import the files into whatever music software they prefer, and I have been urging them to try MuseScore. Some are reasonably competent with music notation, but less so with software; they incline to use e.g. Notation Player.

The largest number are both technophobic and have poor music-reading abilities. Given that the choir's average age is nearer 70 then 60, it's an uphill struggle to try to get them to use anything but the simplest software. For them, I recommend vanBasco's MIDI player.

If anyone can suggest a better MIDI player, please do.

The ideal software, for our choir, would display the score with the lyrics, as well as allowing control of playback in the manner of vanBasco's MIDI player. I realise that MuseScore does just that, but getting a bunch of technophobes to install it isn't easy. I can give MSCZ files a try, but not many will use them, I'm afraid.

Maybe, one day, someone will integrate voice synthesis with music software so that the lyrics can actually be "sung" on a home computer ... wouldn't that be nice!

In reply to by Philip Talmage

I'm part of a choir too so I understand your problem! I used to export MP3s with the relevant voice emphasized, but that was too much work so now I tend to upload one of the files to and send out a link to the video score (like this one) so that the less technologically minded people can get used to the idea of following along on the computer without having to go to the trouble of downloading and installing a program. I send the MSCZ files along with the link and tell them that they can download MuseScore if they want to mute individual voices.

In reply to by Philip Talmage

I use Synthesizer-V for virtual singing of MuseScore scores, too. MIDI is intermediary between the two apps. My problem is that MuseScore MIDI does not include lyrics, so I have been manually re-entering them in Synthesizer-V. However, apparently, this problem may be solvable. Namely, the problem of MuseScore and MIDI lyrics is that it is not implemented the ability to embed lyrics into MIDI, yet. However, I heard that Sibelius and Encore MIDI files do contain lyrics and they ca be opened in some other apps that require Lyrics, such as, Synthesizer-V. Similarly MIDI exported from Dorico apparently does not, either. However, the solution has been suggested in case of Dorico. Apparently, Dorico can export MusicXML, that contains lyrics. So, the user used some online services to convert the Dorico MusicXML to MIDI that contained lyrics. Then, Synthesizer-V was able to import the lyrics from the MIDI file. I haven't tried the method, but, since I know that MusicXML exported from MuseScore also contains lyrics, I think that this method using MusicXML as intermediary must work??? However, I think that the ability of MuseScore automatically embedding lyrics into MIDI is a well-deserved new feature request.

Easy Fix:

Export the piece as a .musicxml file type. This will include your lyrics and can be opened in most programs.

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