There is an amazing feature that may help you enter lyrics in leadsheets and choral music using Sibelius 6.
Granted, I usually type lyrics directly into the score: select a note, choose Create > Text > Lyrics and type each lyric and syllable one at a time. It does not take long if you are a decent typist. However, if you are a fairly good typist or you are looking for lyrics to a known tune, you can use the import text file option.
If the tune is an original composition or one you know by memory, just type the lyrics into your favorite word processor. Or, you can search for the lyrics on the Internet. With Sibelius 6, you don’t have to worry about entering the syllable breaks. Create the notation and include slurs where there are melismas (two more notes assigned to one syllable) and import the saved text file.
Create the Score with Slurs
I created the melody for Aura Lee and included slurs where needed. In this piece there is only one melisma, in bar 4.
Create or Copy the Lyrics
Then, I went and searched for the lyrics online. I went to Google and seared for: “Aura lee” lyrics
Always put the entire song title in quotes. The number of hits was significant. I then selected and copied the lyrics for the first verse and pasted them into MS Word.
As the blackbird in the spring
‘neath the willow tree
sat and piped
I heard him sing
praising Aura Lee.
Aura Lee! Aura Lee! Maid of golden hair
Sunshine came along with thee and swall-ows in the air.
With Sibelius 6, there is no need to worry about syllable breaks. The program analyzes the text and does an amazing job of automatically applying the syllable breaks. Of course, I could have just typed these lyrics into the word processor if I didn’t want to take the time to search for them online.
Save as Text
Next, after pasting the lyrics into my word processor, I choose
File > Save As and saved it as a text (.txt) file to a folder on my hard drive.
Import the Text into Sibelius
The next step is to select the notation in the Sibelius file. In this case I selected the entire document.
Import the Text File
Choose Create > Text > Lyrics > From Text File… I usually don’t change the default settings. You can research more on these options in the Sibelius reference manual.
And that’s it! In this example, Sibelius perfectly interpreted the syllable breaks and properly entered a melissma (because I had pre-entered the slur).
Of course, this won’t work perfectly in every instance. But even if there are some minor edits, this is a time saver for songwriters and composers/arrangers who deal with choral and vocal music.