Moving Lyric Verses in Finale

TestNeed to move lyrics from one verse to another? Select the Lyrics tool and go to Lyrics > Lyrics Window. From here it’s a simple task: Just cut the text from one lyric and paste it in another.

Once the words have been moved, however, they’ll likely need to be re-assigned to the notes in the document. You can use a modifier key – CTRL on Windows, OPTION on Mac – to click-assign the entire lyric in one go. The feature even avoids rests and tied notes.

This works great if your document has a 1:1 ratio of syllables to notes, but what if some notes are slurred together as a melisma?

Shift Lyrics offers an easy solution. Instead of having to plod through your document, click-assigning each individual note to avoid the slurs, you can use Shift Lyrics to quickly move a mis-assigned syllable one note at a time. Let’s take a look at an example.

In a sample document, I’ve inadvertently entered the lyrics of the second verse into Verse 3.  After only a few steps, I can get this corrected.

1. In the Lyrics Window, I’m viewing Verse 3. I choose Edit > Select All and Edit > Cut.

Lyrics Step 1

2. From the Lyric drop-down menu, I select Verse 2 and choose Edit > Paste. Then I select the Click Assignment tool.

Lyrics Step 2

3. In the document, I hold CTRL (OPTION on Mac) and click the first note. The entire lyric is assigned, but now I need to correct the few mis-assigned syllables. For example, “Ma-ry” needs to start in measure 3 below:

Lyrics Step 3

4. I choose Lyrics > Shift Lyrics to display the Shift Lyrics dialog box. This is already set to Shift Lyrics to the Right and Shift syllables by one note, to the next open note, so I click OK.

Lyrics Step 4

5. I click once on the syllables “Ma-”, “stood”, “ves-”, and “blood” to avoid the first four slurs, three times on “ful” to avoid the long slur, and once on “food” to avoid the last slur.

Lyrics Step 5

And that’s it: no need to manually assign each syllable individually. This can be a major time-saver in a lyrics-heavy document.

How are lyrics working for you? Share your experience with the Finale community by clicking on “Comments” below.

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