Brackets For Verse Lyrics Splits

• Jun 11, 2012 - 20:08

When many verse lines end, before a e.g. chorus of just one line, there is often a bracket around the multiple verse lines. The same is true for when a single line ends and many verse lines begin.

CURRENT BEHAVIOUR: MuseScore has no option to insert a bracket around verses.

CURRENT WORKAROUND: Importing a bracket as an SVG and dragging it to the right place.

DESIRED BEHAVIOUR: A bracket could possibly be dragged to the begin/end of verses / verse lines, or automatically inserted if the number of verses changes.


(This is one of 8 features I am suggesting concerning printing/layout in MuseScore, with publishing houses' standards in mind. The score out of 10 is how badly I feel this feature is lacking.)


I was going to file this at some point :).

I think I saw a MuseScore file not long ago that utilised this, but I don't know how. Would be good to have a feature, if it doesn't exist.

In reply to by chen lung

The way I do that is by using "System Text". select the note closest to where you want the bracket, type the right bracket key "{" or "}", then "Esc", then right-click the bracket and choose "Text Properties", then adjust the size to appropriate size (for 5 lines of text size 80 is just fine), then click "OK", and voila! you have you new big bracket. Now just position it wherever you want to by dragging it or by adjusting with the up-down, right-left keys. Caveat: the size of the bracket can be adjusted only by entering the size number on the "Text Properties" box. Other than that, it's quite a simple operation. Now to position the single line of text that follows the bracket, you have to drag each element into position to the middle of the outside of the bracket, just like you positioned the bracket itself.

Attachment Size
Musescore Bracket.jpg 114.13 KB

I have a different work-around, if it's of any interest.

First know how many lines will be appearing on your multiple-line lyrics sections.

For the common (single-line) lyrics start by entering just a carriage return and then another etc. until you get down to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th line etc. which will be about half-way down the multiple lines (i.e. you want the single line lyrics to appear on the 1st line if you're only going to have two lines in the multiple line bit; on the 2nd line if you will have 3 or 4 lines; the 3rd line if you will have 5 or 6 etc.)

When you get to the multiple lines the trick is to insert an extra line of "lyrics" at the start and end. If, for instance, you have 4 lines of lyrics, then you will enter a 5th line on the first syllable of the lyrics and you will enter the curly-bracket sign from your keyboard ( { ). Then select it and go down to the text properties at the bottom of the page and make it, say, 40-point in size. Move the bracket to a suitable place. Repeat for the end-bracket at the last lyric.

These brackets can be copied and paste along with the lyrics and they move properly when you stretch or shrink the bars.

OK, it's not automatic and doesn't negate the feature request but I hope it helps meantime.

Attachment Size
Temp_Lyric Brackets.mscz 2.11 KB

In reply to by underquark

See also this discussion, which argues for a resizable curly brace on the Lines palette, which would be more generally useful: I proposed the same basic workaround as underquark - place as text and size it - but i also did some experimenting to find fonts in which the curly brace still looks good even when sized very large. Here is an example rendered with Inkpen2, which I think installed itself with the Sibelius demo:


In reply to by etienne

I agree that ability to do things in "standard" ways that can be imported/exported via MusicXMl is a good goal - but does anyone know if MusicXML defines a way to do this that is specific to lyrics? If so, that's how it should be implemented. I'm kind of guessing it doesn't, though, and it will turn out that simply placing a text element or resizable line. And in any case, even if MusicXML defines a way to do it for lyrics so MuseScore implements that, it doesn't solve the problem of how to create similar brackets for other uses. As far as I can tell, MusicXML would handle a bracket placed as an ordinary text element just fine.

Anyhow, again, I don't really know what MusicXML supports or doesn't. I do agree whatever MuseScore does should be something that can be exported. I just still suspect that it will turn out to be the case that a simple text element is the best way to do that.

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