Adding lyrics to a melody that is distributed between two staffs

• Jan 21, 2017 - 16:16

Is there a solution for adding lyrics to a melody that is distributed between two staffs (hands) of a piano part? See attached score.

I've tried two strategies:

(1) Adding lyrics to both staffs and then adjusting Vertical Offset for the bass staff lyrics. The problem is melismas – for example in measure 3 the word "by" is to be sung over the first two notes (D and C), which move from right to left hand. The melisma line, however, won't extend over the C.

(2) Using staff text instead of lyric text. Spacing isn't as exact, and despite using the same font and font size, the melisma lines don't look exactly the same as lyric text.


Attachment Size
By an' By (MS review).mscz 16.43 KB


In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Thanks! The cross-staff trick does work, though not completely for my purposes. I'm trying to add lyrics to a melody that crosses between the staffs. The words are placed under their respective notes, whichever staff they're in. Now, I can adjust the height of all the lyrics under the bass staff notes to line up vertically with the treble staff lyrics. However, for words split by a hyphen, the hyphen ends up out of (vertical) alignment, and is not adjustable by itself in the Inspector. ;-( And I can't seem to manually add a hyphen, though I guess I could do so with staff text, but then that gets complicated and probably isn't worth the trouble.

This is a great question, and as a piano teacher of young students, who learn "Middle C Position," where the melody is on both staffs, I have encountered this exact need. My solution is to place "dummy" notes in the treble clef, which are to eventually become invisible and stemless (See the attached "Yankee Doodle"). This method will work nicely with your file, since your rests are invisible. If you ever need the rests to be non-invisible, then I would suggest using a second voice of only rests, placing the rests that you want to keep, and making invisible or deleting those that overlap the melody.

Attachment Size
yankee-doodle.mscz 11.95 KB
yankee-doodle.pdf 18.41 KB
yankee-doodle-rests.mscz 11.39 KB
yankee-doodle-rests.pdf 18.84 KB

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