I really need help for how to create a song in lilypond that has both instrumental portions and verse / chorus portions. Like a real-world practical song. I want to be able to create something like this for example:

enter image description here

See how there is an introduction with no lyrics under it. How do I make only certain parts of the music be associated with my "\addLyrics{ }"?


A simple way is to add blank lyric syllables, for example " ".

This gets hard to read if there are lots of them, so it's nicer to define your own macro - \skip in the example.

\version "2.18.2"
\language "english"

skip=" "

{ \new PianoStaff {
    \new Staff {
      \key bf \major \time 4/4 \partial 4 \relative c'' {
      a8. g16 | f8 f f4 f g8. a16 | bf2. f8. f16 \bar "||" f4 g8. f16 f8 f bf8. c16 | } }

    \addlyrics {
      \skip \skip | \skip \skip \skip \skip \skip \skip | \skip
      There's a | church in the val -- ley by the | }

    \new Staff {
      \clef "bass" \key bf \major \relative c' {
      r4 | a2 <f ef'> | <bf d>2. r4 | <bf d>2 q } }
} }

enter image description here


By default, \skip 1 in your lyrics will skip as much music as where 1 syllable would appear. For a single note, that means it will find the next note. For tied notes and slurred notes, that means the next note after the conclusion of the tie or slur.

To use this multiple times, trying entering \repeat unfold N in your lyrics:

music = \relative c' {
 c4 d e f
 g f e d
words = \lyricmode {
 \repeat unfold 4 { \skip 1 }
 song starts on G
\score {
  \new Voice = "melody" \music
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto "melody" \words

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