Last updated: Feb. 18, 1997
Brief Guidelines/Suggestions for Inputting Texts
Note: These are just suggestions from my own experience at typing
out libretti from scores and comparing existing printed formats. I will
be modifying them from time to time.
Please note that no copyrighted texts will be posted here or directly
linked from here without permission of the copyright holder
Paragraphing and other formatting (these apply primarily to cases where
the inputter is working from a score, not from a separately printed libretto)
- Segregate stage directions from lines of character's speech in brackets
to distinguish from dialog in parentheses, or, if available, code as parentheses
- Break phrases and clauses of prose dialog into separate lines for ease
- Maintain structure of poetic passages (this may take some work if only
the score is available) <\ul>
- Simultaneous speeches
- Indent from start to end of group a couple of spaces and add a makeshift
bracket like this:
/ CHARACTER A
| No one can understand our sentences at the same time!
| CHARACTER B
\ I know you are, but what am I?
Choruses with differences in wording among the parts (method depends
on best result):
- Show all voice parts separately if the text is different among them,
beginning with the first part that sings:
| We're the tenors!
| Basses come in second!
\ Sopranos enter last!
Choose text of highest-sounding part
Identify a patterned poetic structure among the versions and use that
Choose the fullest version of text
Ignore changes in word order or "filler" syllables
Repeated phrases or lines
- Immediate repetition of a single line can be shown with :|| typed at
the end of it:
Ich liebe dich! :||
If a group of three or more lines is repeated, type the first line
and add whatever equivalent of "etc." that may be valid for the
language of the libretto:
And here we sing the dumb refrain, ho, ho! [etc.]
Diacritics and other alphabetic problems
Size of files
- Because not everyone has the best text-displaying software, the ampersand
commands for special characters are problematic. Some files on the libretto
site use makeshift equivalents such as 'a, ^o, 'e (e.g. French); ue, oe,
ae, ss (German).
- Transliterations of other alphabets (e.g. Cyrillic) will need attached
- Texts that use non-Roman alphabets for display should include a link
to web sources for fonts needed.
Type of files
- One-act operas, cantatas, song cycles, selections = one file
- Multi-act operas, oratorios = multiple files or one file
- Please send plain ASCII files (with or without HTML coding), or, if
necessary, WordPerfect 6.1 or Microsoft Word for Windows files in binary
- This space is for extra information such as the source of your text.