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Is there a name for the notes that appear in smaller size in sheet music? Not grace notes, but rather notes to accompany alternative words in lyrics in different verses that require slight variations in rhythm.

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Ossia is used for actual alternatives but I'm not sure if that's the right word here. –  nonpop Jan 4 at 22:32
    
@Duffa: Perhaps you could post a picture of what you mean to make it totally clear? –  Ulf Åkerstedt Jan 5 at 8:21
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Smaller notes are sometimes called "cue notes" but that is only for a specific and different usage: when a melody line from a different musical part is shown in the score for another part to alert the performer as to their next entrance.

I think "small notes" is as good a term as any for the usage you describe.

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