Typing a hyphen in lyrics without jumping to the next note

• Jan 24, 2021 - 21:37
Reported version
S3 - Major
needs info

Normally obtained by Ctrl + Alt + hyphen key, this feature has disappeared in the past and then resumed. It was in V 3.5.0, but has been left out of 3.6.0.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Good suggestion. I use a Nordic keyboard, because it serves the languages I use. The hyphen/underscore key is on the bottom row to the right of the comma and period keys. But when I switch the keyboard to "English" and find the hyphen/underscore (top row, to the right of 0), I get just what you describe: using Ctrl + "+" gives me the hyphen without jumping to the next note.
A bit clumsy but it will do until MuseScore fixes it for us Europeans in a later update. Thank you very much for your help.
Note: AltGr + doesn't work.

Similar keyboard for German, Dash and Underscore on the same key, Underscore being Shift+Dash. Still Ctrl+Dash works as does Ctrl+Underscore (Actually Ctrl+Shift+Dash)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Well, it is a fix of sorts, but it requires changing the keyboard temporarily when a polysyllabic word coincides with a slur or a tie, and then changing it back again in order to continue. I can do it all right to get my job done, but I'll be happier when MuseScore finds where the hyphen/underscore is on a Nordic keyboard. Believe me, Finnish has a lot of polysyllabic words. ;-)
So yes, this matter can be closed, with sincere thanks for your help.

Status fixed active

Maybe a better solution is needed.
Hmm, didn't we do some magic in that code area, like for AZERTY keyboards?
Investigation needed...

So indeed, as far as the last row is concertnd (except for the Z) the same as the German layout.
Ctrl+Shift+- needed.
With Alt instead of Shift it would pich on the _instead, and that in turn now gives a Synalepha

Sounds right. But Ctrl + -key, Ctrl+ shift +-key, and Ctrl + Alt + -key all give underscore.
I have another (newer, HP) portable available. I could install 3.6.0 there and see what happens.

When I am working with a MuseScore file and use Ctrl - l to start writing lyrics, I first have to change to US keyboard, which was loaded into the computer when I bought it, then Ctrl plus the + key, the one in the top row to the right of zero, gives me the hyphen without jumping to the nest note.

So you're apparently using a US keyboard layout on a Nordic keyboard.
You just need to add Crtl to whatever key combo you need to get a -
Apparently for you that is Ctrl++, right?

If you're using a US keyboard layout on a Scandic keyboard there's nothing MuseScore could fix.
Just don't do it, use the Scandic layout instead, or get yourself a US keyboard

I'm afraid you misunderstand. I always use the Nordic layout on a Nordic keyboard. The problem is that although earlier Musescore 3.5.x finds the hyphen/underscore key, 3.6.0 doesn't, so, following your suggestion I tried the US layout and the desired symbol was found under the key with a different label. This has happened once or twice a few years ago, when a new upgrade couldn't find the key, but that was corrected in a later upgrade.
In fact I have tried Ctrl plus every key on the board, both with and without shift, some of which produced the symbol on the key, some a blank, several an underscore, but in no case a hyphen. Interestingly, Ctrl plus space-bar produces just what one wants, a space without jumping to the next note.

Status by design needs info

I don't get it, still.
In a Scandic layout and in e.g. staff text you get a "-" by using Shift+-? In Lyrics that adds a lyrics dash and jumps to the next note? But when adding a Ctrl it does not add a plain "-" without jumbing to the next note?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I just now uninstalled 3.6.0 and installed 3.5.2, with the following results:
in lyrics entry mode (i.e. Ctrl plus l), if I press the hyphen key, a hyphen will be written half-way to the next note and the pointer will have jumped to the next note,
If I press Ctrl plus the hyphen key, an underscore will be printed, but no jump to the next note.
If I press Ctrl plus Alt plus the hyphen key, a hyphen will be printed, but no jump to the next note, which is exactly what I need.

There's the prioblem then, Ctrl + hyphen should not print an underscore, but Shift + hyphen should. As far as I can tell, it does on a German keyboards, which does have hyphen and underscore on the same key as your's. The Alt key has got nothing to with this whatsoever (it does in 3.6 though, to enter a Synalepha, a lyrics slur).

In reply to by Gilbert Leppelmeier

Well, that is a dash, hyphen, minus, not a synalepha.
And there you don't want nor need - or _ nor a melisma in the first place, just a (repeated) lyrics dash
There's no such thing as a mid-word melisma (those underscores) (but I have to admit to have used those too, back in the MuseScore 1.x days)
There's only one place in that score that asks for a melisma: the last measure

Attachment Size
Joutsen, Sopraano Eb_0.mscz 21.46 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Sorry for the delay, I just got invited to make an appointment for a vaccination. The real world has a habit of breaking in now and then.
When I read again the definition again I see you are right, a synalepha is not relevant here. But I am puzzled, what is the difference between a slur and a melisma?
In any event, the professional musicians here say they want the sliding underscore to tell the singer that there is no break between notes and the hyphen to say the word is hyphenated, and that's the way a lot of the published scores read.
So, I think I have to tell my folks to uninstall 3.6.0 and install 3.5.2. With thanks for your help and the discussion (and recommending 3.5.2 over 3.5.0),
Gil Leppelmeier

Melisma underlines are used only to lengthen the last syllable of a word, for other syllables the second entry of - changes their alignment from center to left (and may show multiple -, if the phrase is long enough), to make clear that this syllable is sung over more than one note. There's no inter-syllable melisma underscore, and so usually no need for a Ctrl+Dash ;-)

Well Ctrl+Alt+- defintily has been changed in 3.6, to allow for lyrics slurs. And if that particular key combo used to do something different in that particular keyboard setup...

Yes, there is now an additional shortcut to enter the elision character more easily. So that would be a reason to not want to be forced to go back to 3.5.2 - there are things one can do easily in 3.6 that are more work in 3.5.2. But I am not seeing anything that is the other way around. So that's what I am having trouble with. Is it that on some particular keyboard, the shortcuts to enter a hyphen or underscore within a lyric just aren't working?

The OP apparently can't use Ctrl+- to for a dash in lyrics, but has to add the Alt, which did that up to now, but doesn't work anymore in 3.6.
At least that's my understanding.
In the sample score though this isn't needed or wanted anyhow. But still it should be possible, for those cases where it is needed

So it's a keybaord issue, and it's just that it's impossible to enter the hyphen directly now (except, I suppose, via the palette, same way one might have previously entered the synalepha?)

In other words: for this particular keyboard layout, it seems 3.5.2 allowed keyboard entry of embedded hyphen via Ctrl+Alt+_ but required palette for synalepha, whereas for 3.6 it's the other way around?

I guess if the language happens to involve lots of embedded hyphen and relatively few synalephas, that could seem like a vote in favor of 3.5.2. But you'd have to give up a lot more too, like the new fonts, automatic score order and staff spacing, etc. So I still can't imagine it being useful unless the language in question uses the embedded hyphen a lot.

Anyhow, trying to get a sense of the seriousness of this to see if I'd want to advocate for reverting the change to add the synalepha shortcut. Or change it to something else. Hard-coded shortcuts make me unhappy anyhow, though.

I guess this also depends on how common that particular keyboard layout is. Some far, though, given the workaround seems trivial and no worse than the problem that 3.6 was fixing (needing to add a symbol from palette occasionally), I'm inclined to leave well enough alone.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It seems you are missing the point. The problem is not the underscore in lyrics, but the hyphen. In fact, on both of my portables (one old Samsung, one 2-year old HP), with MS 3.5.2 I can get any symbol I have tried without jumping to the next note, including the hyphen. With 3.6.0 I can get everything I have tried except the hyphen.
Yes, I looked at the additions and changes list for 3.6.0. and it convinced me to upgrade. But for all the roses it turned out to have one thorn. So we'll wait and see.
Thanks for the discussion.

I don't think I am missing the point - I did accidentally write underscore at first but I corrected it.

My point is, assumjgn there really is no way to enter a hyphen with the usual keystroke on your keyboard, you can still enter one using the palette. That is, open the Special Characters palettes, go to the Unicode tab, then Basic Latin, then drag the hyphen to your own palette. Now you can enter all the hyphens you want with just a single click.

The is the same method that would have been needed to enter synalepha in 3.5.2. So in previous releases, synalepha required the method above to enter, but hyphens could be entered with a shortcut. Now it's the other way around. but the bottom line is, you can still enter hyphens without much difficulty.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you very much for the suggestion, it sounds like a good solution. But I need some help. By "Special Characters palettes" I presume you mean the "Master Palette" in the "View" menu. Or is there some other place, as I find no other reference to palettes other than this one, which has no mention of a Unicode tab, etc.
I would also like to ask if it is possible to install two different MuseScore versions at the same time. As it is now, installation stops if another version is installed and asks to reove it.
Thanks for your help, Gil Leppelmeier

No, the one that comes up whan you press F2 during text entry
You can't install more than one 1.x, 2.x or 3.x each at the same time, not on Windows at least. But there you can use the PortableApps, and as many as you like.

And if you don't have an F2 key, you can also display Special Characters by clicking the icon at the far left of the text toolbar. Agaun, you have to be in text edit mode for this to appear.