Adding Lyrics on rests for vocal quartet

• Mar 5, 2021 - 10:13

I'm trying to add lyrics in the middle of a transcription of a song for SATB quartet. I would like to add lyrics in between the Alto stave and the Tenor stave on the score so that it is symmetrical. To do this I am adding lyrics below the alto stave (i.e. lyrics are associated with the alto line). However, sometimes the soprano comes in one beat before the rest of the group (i.e. beat 4 with the rest of the group coming in on beat 1, in 4/4), singing the first word of the phrase. I would like to have these lyrics appear there even though the alto is not singing them, so I tried to add lyrics to a rest. This seems to work, but when I use the underscore (for a held syllable) it goes above the line I just typed, and then when I add more underscores I can't even see them. Ideally, I would like to add lyrics that are associated with the soprano stave, but then appear between the alto and tenor stave. However, when I try to do this, it doesn't let me. A solution to this problem would fix the other as well, but I thought I'd mention it as the weird underscore thing has happened to me before. Doubly ideally, I'd like the soprano lyrics to show up in part scores (even the lyrics that aren't being sung necessarily).

Btw, the song is A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by The Manhattan Transfer.


For something like this, I'd probably not fight the lyrics under rests feature - which really was never meant as a general purpose lyric entry system - and instead try an altenate approach, like adding invisible notes in another voice or on a staff with invisible staff lines.

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