Enter lyrics in a score

    In order to attach lyrics to music in a score:

    1. Enter the notes to which you intend to attach lyrics.
    2. Click on the note where you want to start entering lyrics.
    3. Type Ctrl+L (Mac: +L); or from the main menu, select AddTextLyrics. Then type the syllable for the first note.
    4. Use the following options to continue entering lyrics:
      • Type Space (or Ctrl+) at the end of a word to go to the next note.
      • Type a hyphen - at the end of syllable to go to the next note. The syllables are connected with a dash.
      • Press Shift+Space (or Ctrl+) to move to the previous syllable.
      • Press to move down to the next lyric line (Note: Don't use the Enter key from the numeric keypad!)
      • Press Up to return to the above lyric line.
    5. Press Esc to end lyrics entry.
    6. To type a second or further lyric line repeat steps 2 and 3 above, or double-click the first syllable, hit and type the syllable for the first note, then continue at step 4

    Example of lyric text:

    Sample lyrics: A-des-te fi-del-es

    Special characters

    In most cases, lyrics can be edited just like normal text. However, special keyboard shortcuts are required to enter the following characters:

    • Character space: Ctrl+Space (Mac: +Space).

    • - (hyphen): Ctrl+- (Mac: +-) or AltGr+-.

    • Line feed: Ctrl+ (Mac: +Return) or Enter (from the numeric keypad).


    A melisma is a syllable or word that extends over two or more notes. It is indicated by an underline extending from the base of a syllable to the last note of the melisma. The underline is created by positioning the cursor at the end of a syllable and pressing Shift+_: once for each note in the melisma. See the image below:

    Syllable extension line, Melisma

    The above lyric was created in the following manner:

    1. Type the letters, soul,.
    2. At the end of the word, press Shift+___.
    3. Type the letters To, then press Esc.

    For non-last syllables to extend, just use additional dashes -, usually only one of them will show (more when the distance between the syllables is large enough), and the syllable will right-align to the first note, similar to last syllables that got notated with a melisma, see above.

    Elision (Lyric) slur / Synalepha

    Two syllables under a note can be joined with an elision slur, also known as a "lyric slur" or "synalepha". For example:

    Sample lyric slur under a note

    To create the example lyric text, starting with the syllable text "te":

    1. Type te;
    2. Click on the keyboard icon Keyboard Icon , or press F2 to open the Special Characters palette;
    3. Use one of the following options:

      • Double-click one of the three elision slurs in the "Common Symbols" tab: "Narrow elision", "Elision", or "Wide elision" (these can be found between the "C Clef" and the "p" dynamic—see image below):
        Elision in the Special Symbols palette
      • Double-click the elision slur found after the 7/8 fraction in the "Common Symbols" tab (next to last character in the image above). Depending on the font, add one or more spaces before/after the slur using Ctrl+Space (Mac: +Space).
        Note: Not all fonts include the "undertie" character (U+203F ‿ "undertie", present in "Special Characters" mainly for compatibility with MuseScore 1.x scores). To find out which fonts on your computer support it, see "fontlist" (look for any font that shows a tie between "te" and "A" instead of a blank rectangle).
    4. Type A.

    Adjust position of lyrics

    The top and bottom margins and the line height of all lyric lines can be set globally:

    1. From the menu, select StyleGeneral...Page;
    2. Adjust the properties marked "Lyrics top margin," "Lyrics bottom margin" and "Lyrics line height" (see General: Page: Lyrics Margins).

    To adjust the position of a particular lyrics line:

    1. Select the lyrics line: i.e. right click on a word in the line, and (from the menu) chose SelectMore...; then check the relevant options, which should include "Same system";
    2. Adjust the Horizontal and Vertical offsets in the Inspector.

    Copy lyrics to clipboard

    To copy all lyrics to the clipboard (as of version 2.0.3):

    • From the menu bar, select EditToolsCopy Lyrics to Clipboard.

    Paste lyrics from clipboard

    To copy and paste lyrics from a text file (say) into a score:

    1. Enter the notes in the score to which the lyrics will be attached.
    2. Set up your lyrics in a text file, with appropriate spaces, hyphens, line-breaks etc.
    3. Copy the lyrics from the text-file into the clipboard.
    4. Select the start note in MuseScore, and press Ctrl+L (Mac: Cmd+L) (step 3 under Enter lyrics in a score).
    5. Repeatedly applying paste will enter successive words of the lyrics. You may need to enter melismas and make other corrections as you go along.

    See also

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