General placement conventions for lyrics

Lyrics are generally placed below the staff to which they apply, and are positioned so that they align horizontally with their corresponding notehead.

A plain font is generally used for normal lyrics, and an italic font is generally used for chorus lyrics and translation lyrics in order to differentiate them.

The horizontal spacing of lyrics must be wide enough so that words or syllables do not overlap with the words or syllables on either side. For this reason, note spacing must sometimes be adjusted to accommodate lyrics.

To reduce how severely the note spacing is changed to accommodate lyrics, which can distort the appearance of rhythms, Dorico for iPad allows the alignment of some lyrics to be adjusted relative to their corresponding notes. For example, if a long, single-syllable word on a long note follows another long, single-syllable word on a short note, the second word is moved a little to the right to give both words enough space.

Figure 1. A short note followed by a long note, where the horizontal position of the lyrics is automatically adjusted for legibility.