Elision / Synalepha / Lyric Slur

• Jul 4, 2013 - 05:47

The latest version of the lyrics page refers to "synalepha". I believe the most common term in English is "elision" or some variation of "elision sign", "elision slur", "elision character" etc. This is the term used by the Finale and Sibelius documentation, as well as reference books on the topic such as Elaine Gould's Behind Bars.

I recommend changing the handbook to use "elision character" as the primary term and "synalepha" and "lyric slur" as alternate terms. It is important to keep the alternate terms for people who might search for that text. Currently, the primary English word "elision" doesn't even appear on that page of the handbook.


Maybe Finale and Sibelius are wong?
Wikipedia describes elision as:

Elision is the omission of one or more sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant, or a whole syllable) in a word or phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce. Sometimes, sounds may be elided for euphonic effect

and synalepha as:

A synalepha or synaloepha is the merging of two syllables into one, especially when it causes two words to be pronounced as one.

Or is this an AE vs BE issue?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

French «élision» and spanish synalepha

In french we say «élision» for linking a «mute» syllable (whose vowel is the infamous « e muet» ) to the next without pronouncing this «e». This élision is or not written.

For instance in the sentence «Mon pauvre ami n'est pas heureux» there is a written élision «n'est» and a not written one «pauvre ami». The heard syllables are «Mon po vra mi né pas (z)eu reu». By convention the lyrics are written «Mon pauvre a-mi n'est pas heu-reux. There are rules telling when one shall use the élision. In modern language there are numerous cases where the lyrics implies the use of not allowed élision such as «Trois pe-tit's not's de mu-siqu'» which could in lyrics be written «Trois pe-tites notes de mu-sique» and however spontaneously sung with the intended élisions.

The synalepha (from the greek syn=with aleph=vowell) is used in spanish.and occurs in positions similar to the french elision. Synalepha is usually noted in lyrics, when they are written in the score.

Es-tas son las ma-ña-ni-tas que can-ta-ba͜el rey Da-vid

and just hear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tuoRF2UlIo

The same thing occurs in italian, but I don't know how it is written, neither which is its grammatical name.

In Musescore 1.3 the synalepha glyph appears in the «F2» character table just after the ⅞ glyph

In reply to by David Bolton

The original post is more to the point. Yes, the definition of elision is not precisely what is being done. But "elision" is the common usage and I do not know many people (at least here in the US) who would be doing a search on an obscure Greek word. It is far better to make it easy for users to be able to get the help they need with the word they know through common usage -- slightly inaccurate though it may be from a linguistic point of view.

Let me put it this way: Let's remember that we're talking about music. We're looking at using the word "elision" from a musical point of view, where you are bringing 2 syllables together on a single note -- whether or not one syllable disappears because of the language.

from wikipedia
elision: the fall of a vowel.
questa alunna - mi ha parlato - una idea - ci indicò : the fall vowel is replaced by apostrophe
quest'alunna - m'ha parlato - un'idea - c'indicò.

elision: the union of two vowels.
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura: divided into syllables, for reasons of metric
mi ri tro vai per u na sel vao scu ra

see the image:

It looks like the actual Unicode character names are "undertie" and "combining double breve below".

Name: "Undertie" (U+203F)
Sample: a͜e
Usage: Used between two unspaced vowels. We are currently using this in MuseScore between spaced vowels (see Lyrics ) which is why the spacing of the elision character is uneven. If you use a undertie followed by a tie, then the undertie appears more under the first vowel than the second: ("a͜ e") if you use a space followed by a tie then the undertie appears more under the second vowel ("a ͜e").

Name: "Combining double breve below" (U+035C)
Sample: a ͜e
Usage: Used between two spaced vowels and probably what we should use in MuseScore. Notice that the ties is evenly centered between the two vowels.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CD%9C

Looking at the documentation, and trying a quick experiment in 2.0.0, the documentation talks about joining two syllables in lyrics under a single note with the elision character. What I need to do, which is perhaps far more common, is to put an elision character between syllables on adjoining notes. In some cases those the first syllable is already ending with underlines to show a melisma over more than one note, before we reach the elision to the syllable of the next note.

Does Musescore allow showing elision between lyrics of adjacent notes?

In reply to by Jim Newby

Use only underscore to show a melisma

synalepha, in Italian, a tie of two words or syllables to pronounce "united"

With 2.0:
Create your workspace;
Double-click a syllable and press the "alpha" in the text bar;
Drag the symbol until the palette (for subsequent use).
Double-click on the end of the syllable where to place and Double-click on the symbol in the palette.


If I misunderstood excuse me

Attachment Size
Sinalefe 2.0.png 64.38 KB

In reply to by Shoichi

Yes, I think you misunderstand. Forgetting the melisma for the moment, the handbook only shows putting an elision (synalepha) within lyrics on a single note. I need to put in between lyrics for 2 notes. For example, the first note lyric is 'tes', the second note lyric is 'yeux'. Can I join these two lyrics with an elision?, much like putting a slur between two notes.

In reply to by Jim Newby

I don't understand the purpose of this notation. Isn't that what a hyphen is for? Why would youwant to use the ellision synalepha symbol for that case? Is this some sort of special word that for someone reaosn should not be hyphenated like normal words?

This is to show an elision between two words, hence not a hyphen, and not melisma. Most often in French, where some silent consonants at the end of words, become voiced when elided with a following word that starts with a vowel.

Hence -- I guess this becomes a feature request, because the slur, or elision, or synalepha, needs to attach (end-points) to the end of one syllable of lyrics and the start of the next syllable of lyrics. Moving a slur that is anchored to notes to rather look like it is attached to lyrics is a very poor option, especially as one stretches or shrinks measures, etc.

In reply to by Jim Newby

OK, I think I understand, and I agree, you should file on official feature request via the issue tracker.

BTW, as a workaround, you might consider a tie or slur between invisible notes in another voice at the same time position as the notes with the lyrics, but with the pitch set to coincide with the lyrics. Kind of a pain, so if this is common, it won't be fun, but it should actually work pretty well. In the picture below, I adjusted the position of the notes to get the tie to be at about the irght spot. This actually works pretty well aslayout changes.


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