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Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Vaughan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:20 am

I must be overlooking something. I'm trying to input Italian lyrics using underscores so that when I import them into Dorico, I get perfect elisions. Unfortunately, when I type an underscore, the cursor jumps to the next note as though I'd typed a hyphen. How is one supposed to connect two syllables with an underscore so that Finale treats them as one syllable?
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby motet » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:53 am

I think there's a separate elision (liason?) character. But why not do the lyrics with Dorico?
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Vaughan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:24 am

There is a separate elision (or liaison) character, but it can't be readily typed since it's not under a simple key combination and, for some reason it's offset to the right, so it looks strange. In addition, it's very difficult to insert into text, since it has zero width. For Dorico, the trigger for an elision is an underscore, and it places it easily and without a problem (as it does most other things). I'm entering the music for this opera project in Finale and porting it over to Dorico via XML. This goes very well and I lose very little information. There are three reasons why I'm doing this. One is simply my familiarity with Finale and that I like the Speedy Entry order: pitch then note value. Another is that nothing can beat the speed and ease of Finale's metatools, although one can get pretty close in Dorico, especially with the help of a macro program or by using the program's brilliant programmable key combinations. The third reason is Finale's click-assignment for lyrics, meaning I can download the libretto, syllabify it and pour the syllables under the notes, although this isn't always as straightforward as it sounds, especially with opera text which often repeats in strange ways. In Dorico one still has to type everything in, syllable by syllable, which increases the chances of making typos. OTOH, copying lyrics is very advanced and easy in Dorico, and it doesn't mess things up as it can in Finale.

In any case, isn't there a way for me to be able to type an underscore in Finale without the caret advancing to the next note?
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby motet » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:06 am

Can you paste lyrics into Dorico via the clipboard (which I assume the Macintosh has)?
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Vaughan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:20 am

Yes, one syllable at a time. No point in doing it that way.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby miker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:42 am

That certainly is unwanted behavior for the underscore.

Would Dorico take an elision as an elision? (Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the Finale Lyric elision. But what do I know?)

It’s an extra step, but, do it like we used to do elisions, in the old days. Enter a character that you wouldn’t normally use, an @ or #. Then, use Text Search and Replace to change them to your character. (Even this way, choosing the underscore character splits the word.)
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:00 am

I used to use underscore all the time as an elision slur. The trick is to use a hard space and underscore it.
Hope that helps.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:16 am

PS Just in case anybody is interested, the reason I don't use hard space/underscore any more is that I now use a specialised font which has the % character replaced by the proper elision slur. It's much faster and more convenient. I can't understand why MM haven't implemented something similar in the Finale Lyrics font; it's so obvious.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Harpsi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:34 pm

This is how I would solve it.

Use a unique character for entering the elision in the lyrics tool which will not be in other use in the generated xml-file, like maybe # or $ or something like that.
Export the xml as usual.
Edit the xml-file with a text editor and do a simple search/replace to exchange all the # to _.
Save and import into Dorico.

Goes without saying that you have to be careful to find a unique character..!
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Vaughan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:26 am

Good idea, Harpsi. I would be wise to have a look through an xml file to see which characters are unique.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Harpsi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:14 am

According to my testing you could use any of

@
£
$
%
&
{
}

Neither of these exist in the xml file I am running for testing, generated by Finale 2014.5.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:39 pm

Exactly, Harpsi. I got the same results and that's why I chose % as the character to substitute in my font, and why I don't understand why MM don't do the same thing in the Finale Lyrics font. It's so much more convenient just to type in the elision slur directly when you need it. I can't think of any Latin-alphabet language that needs a % sign for lyrics.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Harpsi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:30 pm

Simon_Furey wrote:Exactly, Harpsi. I got the same results and that's why I chose % as the character to substitute in my font, and why I don't understand why MM don't do the same thing in the Finale Lyrics font. It's so much more convenient just to type in the elision slur directly when you need it. I can't think of any Latin-alphabet language that needs a % sign for lyrics.
Simon


Agreed, but the criterion here was to choose a sign that is not in use in the xml code. Maybe I misunderstand you, but it seems that you are talking about how to enter elisions in a Finale document in general, rather than the question of exporting in the OP.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby motet » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:53 pm

Harpsi wrote:According to my testing you could use any of

@
£
$
%
&
{
}

Neither of these exist in the xml file I am running for testing, generated by Finale 2014.5.


Don't use ampersand! That's the XML escape character. If you put that in your lyrics it will be rendered & in the XML file; if you then change that you'll be really screwed up.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:28 pm

Yes, Motet, I was talking about entering elision slurs in general in Finale, but I take your point. However, if - as I do - you use a font with an elision slur in it, then it passes transparently through the XML export process without a problem. I have used this very successfully to transfer (for example) Finale files to MuseScore. On the other hand, if I use my earlier method of an underscored hard space, then I find that the Finale XML conversion process loses the underscore character, which I regard as a bug; the associated hard space remains, however. That means that the association of notes to words remains correct, including the spacing. So I would imagine that Dorico (which I have never used) will align all the lyrics correctly, but naturally won't know about the underscores, so won't insert elision slurs. Looks to me like something for MM's XML people to sort out.

As a matter of interest, Vaughan, what font are you using for the lyrics? If it's something common I may be able to do you a version with a built-in elision slur. This assumes, of course, that you use the same font for lyrics in both Finale and Dorico, which may not be the case.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:34 pm

Ah.... belay that last offer, Vaughan. I just noticed the small snag that you have a Mac, whereas I am using a PC. Sorry about that.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby motet » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 pm

It seems like an underscored hard space would perhaps be three characters (space, backspace, underscore), so I'm not surprised that doesn't work. It sounds like Dorico wants to see the underscore and do something special with it, so picking some neutral character in Finale and then changing it to an underscore in the XML before import to Dorico seems like it might work. But don't use an ampersand.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Harpsi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:12 pm

motet wrote:Don't use ampersand! That's the XML escape character. If you put that in your lyrics it will be rendered & in the XML file; if you then change that you'll be really screwed up.


Thanks Motet, good to know!
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:10 pm

Folks may be interested to know that I have now produced a variant of the Finale Lyrics font (PC TrueType) which works perfectly. It's called FinaleLyricsES and it sits comfortably alongside any other fonts you may have, including the original MM Finale Lyrics. All you have to do to get an elision slur is type %. It works with regular, bold, italic and bold italic. As it's a font-based solution it carries through to other music packages via MusicXML. I've tried it with MuseScore, Harmony Assistant, Dorico Pro 2 and Sibelius 18. The most you have to do is change the lyrics font to FinaleLyricsES in Harmony Assistant and Dorico, which is dead easy in Dorico.

I have submitted the font to MM to see if they can/will implement it as an official mod.

If anyone is interested in using it, send me a PM with your e-mail. As I say, I have no Mac kit, and so have no idea if TTF fonts work on Macs. I somehow doubt it.

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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby miker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:56 pm

Simon,

I’ve often thought of doing that, but I lack the skill! Since you have done it, could you also change the en-dash character to appear the same as the hyphen-minus, so that MM’s font maping will bring it up, when a hard hyphen is called for?

I’ll be happy to try your font out, on a Mac. Many thanks for the effort!

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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Vaughan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:58 pm

I was trying to use the underscore because that's the trigger in Dorico to display an elision. I like to use Minion Pro Condensed as my lyrics font because I find it a lot more attractive than Times and it's condensed enough to allow more letters in a syllable before the spacing starts distorting too much.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby dhsmith » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:10 pm

If you deselect Use smart word extensions in Doc Options, you should be able to use the underscore character in lyrics.

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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:36 pm

Vaughan, the Finale Lyrics font is more compressed than Times/Times New Roman, and may be sufficient for your needs. Have you tried it? I don't have the Minion font and don't want to pay Adobe's prices. I am sending Mike my fonts so we should soon find out if they are Mac compatible. The last Mac I used was an SE/30 so my Mac knowledge is a little rusty ;)
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby Simon_Furey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:58 pm

David, nice try but it seems that FInale's XML export process strips out the underline, which is the point I think that Motet was making. Try exporting a test music file as MusicXML and re-importing it to Finale and you'll see what I mean. Hence my font work.
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Re: Underscores in lyrics?

Postby dhsmith » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:08 pm

I just tried it, and the underscore character appears in the xml file, so it should work for importing into Dorico.

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