Lyrics and melismata

  • Oct 20, 2020
This capella hint was published in the Oct 2020 release of our newsletter "inside capella". Subscribe here.


A melisma is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. This rarely occurs in folk music or simple choral literature, but is widely used in operas or motets.

It is important where the hyphens are set: Not below every note - that would be far too many - but at an even distance until the next syllable is reached.

Melismata with equal sign

Put an equal sign instead of the hyphen once where the separation begins. capella now automatically sets one or more hyphens at regular intervals up to the next syllable. This works with direct entry or in the lyrics editor.

One user told us: "I only use the equal = sign to separate syllables. No matter what comes afterwards, or whether I change something in the following - the hyphens are always correct."



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