Automatically-generated melisma lines

• Mar 6, 2012 - 20:50
S5 - Suggestion

I would like to see melisma lines automatically generated for lyrics.

See discussion .


To support this request:
I think LilyPond does this. If there are notes connected via a slur or tie and the first has a lyric sylable attached, the melisma for the following note(s) is generated.

I see the reasoning, but I would need a way to turn such an automatism off: in the music I deal with slurs are very inconsistent (actually they mostly follow different purposes) and automatically generated melismas would be incorrect in the majority of cases.



I think this feature would drive a lot of people crazy. If it's ever implemented, I would also advocate to make it switchable and to be OFF by default.

Length-wise, using an underscore will possibly be less accurate in aligning to the notehead.

What if something in the score changes and you have to sort it again?

I don't get it. It's not like typing an underscore actually uses the underscore character in rendering. A line is drawn, and MuseScore already figures out the alignment. The results would be *exactly* the same either way. The only difference I can see is that one way you type a space and the other way you type an underscore to get the exact same drawn line. Unless you are askjng for something very different than I am thinking, in which case you'd need to explain better how this would work.

Yes, spacing can be an issue. Another reason against _: they are difficult to get rid of, you can't delete them, but have to delete the previous syllable. Another is LilyPond, often used as a reference...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the request. I interpreted it to mean one thing and one thing only: a request that pressing "space" would behave *exactly* the same in all possible respects as pressing "_". That is, pressing it once would move you to the next syllable but not actually enter an extender yet. Pressing it a second time would move to the next syllable and now finally enter the melisma. So you'd only ever need to press "space" whether entering a syllable on the next note or several notes later.

If so, then whatever downsides there are to the current scheme - eg, being difficult to remove the extender -would still be *exactly* the same. And the layout would be *exactly* the same. Everything would be *exactly* the same, except by now having "space" do the job formerly done by "_", you *lose* the ability for "space" to do what it always has done in the past. Perhaps someone could explain in more detail how you actually see this working and what you see the advantage as being?

If I press space twice, on slured/tied notes, I'd like the same thing to happen as if pressing - twice, except that there should be no -, no underscore and the 1st syllable left aligned.
If I press space twice on non- slurred/tied notes, it should remain as it is now, 1st syllable centered, next note not having any lyrics. Or maybe better a suitable sized rest

I don't understand why you'd want to special case slurs? For one thing, as mentioned, they'd very often (I'd say the vast majority of cases) not exist yet at the point when lyrics are entered. And for another, the exact same cases where we must support notes with no lyrics or extenders underneath them - cases where there might be lyrics for the note in another (perhaps yet-to-be-entered) verse - would be just as likely to be slurred as any other case.

So an automatic melisma system based on slurs would *not* produce melismas in the vast majority of places where they are actually required (eg, places where the user had not previously entered slurs), and in a significant number of cases, it would produce them incorrectly (eg, places where the user had entered slurs for phrasing reasons that have nothing to do with melisma). I have a hard time seeing how this could possibly be a useful enough thing to be worthwhile.

Ties are another matter, and I could see special casing the behavior of "Space" to add a melisma mark under the tied note, since there exists no situation in which that would *not* be appropriate.

FWIW, the approach I was assuming we were talking about - simply making "Space" be a synonym for "_" with no other change in behavior whatsoever - would actually already be possible if it worked to add shortcuts "Next syllable" and "Add melisma extender". The former shortcut definition is present but doesn't seem to work to customize; the latter does not exist.

I've not come across a situation where I wouldn't want hitting space twice to result in a melisma line... And coming over from Sibelius that's what I've come to expect... When I type lyrics I like that under most circumstances I type as though I was simply typing it out into a text editor - it's logical and intuitive. Until today I just assumed that melismas were broken or something, because they weren't coming up!

I'm sure you'd sometimes want empty notes between text, but providing you could turn it off, (and maybe a hint the first time you double-spaced telling you about toggling melisma lines) I see no downside to this.