How best to show alternative words for singer?

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David Ward
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How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by David Ward » 25 Jun 2018, 20:21

Is it clear, without further indication, that the lower line (‘2nd verse’ as it were) of lyrics is an alternative in case repetitions of ‘me’ might be uncomfortable for the voice?

Voice is dramatic mezzo, tempo is dotted crotchet = 96. In theory, all those repetitions of ‘me’ might have the best dramatic effect, but I feel they could be awkward and uncomfortable to sing.
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John Ruggero
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Jun 2018, 22:50

"or:" or "ossia:" in italics placed under the "and"?

I may have mentioned this before, David. Your dashed slurs might be more visible and attractive with different settings. I am using 6 EVPUs or .25 spaces for both the dash and the space these days.
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by benwiggy » 26 Jun 2018, 09:23

I'd use Italics, or an ossia. Possibly along with a footnote.

If I might advise: the EE vowel is certainly harder higher up the voice, without modification. Might you get the desired effect keeping "me" on the lower notes, so "no--w blames me, blames me, blames me, me".

As far as dashed slurs go, I found I got the best results using longer dashes and smaller gaps. (5pt and 3pt.) Also, a slur thickness of 2pt and a 0.1pt ending helps.

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David Ward
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by David Ward » 26 Jun 2018, 09:44

Thank you both for your responses.

Something like this?

I've used Ben's 5pt dashes with 3pt gaps for now, but haven't changed the thickness (yet), although I'm not sure whether it's the Finale default or something I'd modified. I may or may not use different settings for the vocal score (with the preparing of which I struggle at the best of times).

Yes, on reflection, repetitions of ‘blames me’ might be best: thank you for the suggestion.
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David Ward
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by David Ward » 27 Jun 2018, 08:25

A slight up-date: I think the or: is perhaps better placed like this. Any thoughts?
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OCTO
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by OCTO » 27 Jun 2018, 09:06

As benwiggy said above, I think that the ossia text should just go italic. In my opinion it is the clearest option.
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MikeHalloran
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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by MikeHalloran » 17 Sep 2018, 06:51

I would lose the dotted slur. It's redundant. The melisma is enough. Is there a singer who wouldn't know how to sing that properly if the dotted slur is removed?

As for putting the ossia in italics, it depends. If you prefer the upper lyric, then I agree with Octo—put the ossia in italics. If you have no personal choice, the way you have it is fine.

I really dislike some older notation where the ossia is in a footnote at the bottom of the page. The Schirmer vocal score for Messiah drives me nuts with that one.

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Re: How best to show alternative words for singer?

Post by Schonbergian » 18 Sep 2018, 10:59

In this day and age when composers seem to have an allergy to individual flags for syllabification, and when rhythms are becoming increasingly complex - I wouldn't dare leave out the slur, whether dotted or not.

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