Stretching Words in Lyrics over Two or More Notes/Beats

• Apr 7, 2016 - 11:47

How do I indicate that a word in a lyric line is to be extended over two or more beats?

Say a voice is singing "oo" as a background for a whole bar; how do I indicate that it's a single stretched sound and not a series of repeated "oo"s?


If if there is just a single note in the bar, however, you don't use the underline - the word itself is sufficient. Only if the syllables covers multiple *notes* if the underline appropriate. So no underline for a lyric under a single half note, but yes if it covers two half notes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The tune is being sung by the lead while the "backing singers" do the "oos"; they need to know when to start and stop each "oo".

First two bars are sung to a Dmajor chord and the singer (lead) sings the melody, "Here's my story, it's sad but true". The tune starts on the second beat of the bar while the "oo" is sung from the first beat for the duration of two measures of Dmajor.

"Runaround Sue" is a very well known song arranged around a 50s progression in Dmajor and I'm hoping I can get the backing singers to sing the "oo"s in 3rds behind the melody. (They are very quick learners!) And then get the lower voiced men to learn the vocal riff, again, on the night: (Hey, hey, um de hey, de hey, de hey, hey... etc).

Fingers crossed.

Thanks for your interest and help.

In reply to by brianejsmith

If the "oo" is literally two measures, then it must be written as two notes tied together, so the underscore is correct and necessary. It's only if it's a *single* note that it is incorrect and indeed confusing to use an underscore, because the underscore means something specific - a syllable extended over multiple notes (whether tied or not).

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