Lyric elision using slur marks, between notes, not for a single note

• Apr 18, 2015 - 14:42
S5 - Suggestion

There should be a simple way to show elision between words in lyrics. The simplest way to do this would be able to add a slur mark to a lyric syllable after the lyrics have been entered, just as can be done with notes. The slur mark could potentially occur at the end of a system, connecting to a lyric on the next system. Similar constraints as for notes would apply as well. There would have to be a note following (not a rest) in the same voice part with a lyric entered in the same verse as the lyric where the elision mark originates. For typesetting, the slur mark would anchor at the end of the first lyric syllable and the start of the next lyric syllable. There is no need (indeed it would look silly) to be able to flip the direction of the slur mark.

This is most useful when adding lyrics in French, where elisions are common, but don't happen all the time, based on context, punctuation, etc.


I've already been through this. The synalepha only addresses joining two syllables under a single note. My issue is joining two syllables under separate notes. This issue has not been addressed.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I had to refresh my memory on this issue. The more proper title, after some research, is not lyric elision, but rather lyric liaison (or connection). I attach a screen shot with two examples, in French. What would be nice would be able to add a slur mark (or similar to a tie mark) between two lyric syllables, on different notes, as seen in the example. This helps to clarify pronunciation for singers who are singing in a foreign language.

The first example shows elision between, or liaison, between two words, one ending in a vowel, and the other starting with a vowel, to indicate that the first vowel disappears and the final consonants of the first word actually start the syllable on the next note. The second example shows true liaison, with the first word ending in a silent consonant, followed by a word starting with a vowel or silent 'h', which causes the silent consonant to be voiced (pronounced) and connected to the start of the next word, that is, part of the syllable sung on the next note.

Neither of these are the synalepha which joins two syllables, one from a word ending in a vowel sound and the other from the next word starting with a vowel sound, into a single syllable sung on a single note. This, indeed, we can already indicate with the single slur mark in lyric entry. What would be nice, is what I try to explain better above, the way to explicitly show liaison. I think the best way to do this would be to allow adding this by using a plus sign ('+') during lyric entry, much as used during note entry to create a tie. This could start a liaison mark and advance to the next syllable to enter that text, much as the '-' or '_' advance to the next note. The resultant slur or liaison mark needs to be anchored to the two syllables, so it can shrink or stretch as notes move closer together or further apart, or perhaps across systems. It needs to be a characteristic of the lyrics, since it could be in verse one and not in verse two, or perhaps in both verses, etc., so manually trying to move a slur from a note down to the lyrics (which is what I did to create the screenshot) is not a solution.

See again the discussion under issue 21751 from April 16 2015 which is what prompted me to create this issue in the first place. Call it what you will, lyric slur, liaison mark, etc. -- this is still something we cannot do. I concede that it is rarely needed, and perhaps only adds clarity for non-native speakers, but I see it in French texts. It takes the guesswork out of whether or not two syllables should connect with liaison, which is often due to the meaning of the text or the setting of the phrase.

Attachment Size
Screenshot at 2022-12-27 17-00-52.png 9.41 KB

I beg to differ. What I described is not addressed by the handbook post you cited, and is not the same as a synalepha or lyric slur. That is between two syllables on the same note. As I said in 2015 and again today, the liaison, or perhaps also a lyric slur, that I am advocating for is between two syllables of different words on two different notes, not on the same note. I know of no way to accomplish this in MuseScore. There is, for example, no way to click on a syllable of lyrics already entered in the score, and add a slur mark from that syllable to the next syllable of text on the next note.

I don't understand -- it is certainly not a melisma, and I don't believe you have a way to put a lyrics slur between two syllables on two different notes. Did you look at the .png example? If so, how do you create that with the lyrics. Especially the second example, where the word 'nous', normally pronounced with a silent 's', such as 'noo', when liaison occurs with the word 'est' (pronounced 'eh'), you get a 'z' sound for the 's', so on that second note, the sound is 'zeh'. I don't know any convenient way to show this in MuseScore. For what it is worth, I don't think you can show this in Finale or Sibelius either. When laying out the text, the 'nous' needs to be under one note, and the 'est' needs to be under the next note, and the 'lyric slur' needs to be between the two syllables, or in this case between the two words.

Title Lyric elision using slur marks Lyric elision using slur marks, between notes, not for a single note
Status fixed active
Workaround No Yes

You certainly can use a regular slur and move it down, somit appears between the syllables.

And therein is the problem -- you cannot use a regular slur and move it down -- it is still anchored to the notes, not the lyrics. In the case that you have 2 or 3 verses of lyrics, you can only add one slur to a note. You therefore, if you have liaison in the same place in multiple verses, can not create, say 2 slurs at the same place, and move them away from the note to the lyrics. Each note can only have one slur, I believe, attached to it. I daresay, as you keep moving things around in the score, you would have to keep readjusting the placement. Would it be so hard to be able to add a slur as an element to a syllable of lyrics? I think this is the only way to achieve this properly. It would then be drawn using the same logic that draws slurs or ties attached to notes. That way they can stretch or shrink as needed.