How to Annotate & Transcribe Musicals on Genius Lyrics
When annotating musicals, please AVOID:
- Restating what's being said (should be obvious)
- Providing alternate lyrics
- Relating back to a song before it even occurs
- Making unsupported lyrical connections to other musicals
The list for this will go on and on. If your annotation is rejected, don't panic, it's not the end of the world. Avoid asking why unless you feel that it's PERTINENT information and extremely vital to the line you're annotating. Further questions on a specific annotation can be answered by @stepfordwitch and/or @sincerelyaj
If you happen upon any of these errors, please reach out and we'd be glad to help. There are a lot of cast albums out there and it's rather difficult to keep track of all of them.
Chances are, the annotation that you're suggesting to edit is already sufficient enough to comply with the Genius rules. Or the annotation you provided isn't needed and/or doesn't enhance that specific line. Avoid reaching out to refute unless you truly feel that your annotation/suggestion is up to par with Genius standards and fits the requirements of the musical guidelines.
Searching for Duplicates
Always search for duplicates before transcribing a new version of a song. Search by name, search by composer, search by a line in the song—however you can so you do not create a duplicate. Pressburg often loads lyrics via singer names, so searching by lyrics really helps. This will ensure that you are not putting hard work into a transcription only to have it deleted.
This part should be fairly simple. Wherever you find credits, make sure they're legit (from a notable source) and make sure you're entering them properly on EVERY song. If you enter different titles for each song page, the album page will have the same person credited 3 times for the same credit.
Mastering Engineer: Ryan Smith
Mastering Engineering: Ryan Smith, Masterer: Ryan Smith, Mastering: Ryan Smith, Mastering & Mixing: Ryan Smith
Titling an Album
Always make sure that the artist follows suit with Apple Music. If Apple Music does not host the album, then put 'Original Broadway Cast of MUSICAL TITLE' in the Album Artist field. If it's a film musical, use 'Cast of MOVIE' instead. This will help keep stage and screen separated. If you have any questions on this, reach out to either @stepfordwitch or @sincerelyaj
Artists Match Apple Music
With Genius' new Apple Music widget, the primary artist should match the one found on Apple Music. This will help Apple Music recognize the song immediately and add its player at the bottom of the screen. Then, list each artist from there under Primary Artists so the artist will be credited for the song. This will also fit with the metadata structure used for the rest of the site, making it more cohesive. More details can be found here.
"Opening Up" is by Jessie Mueller, Keala Settle, Kimiko Glenn, Eric Anderson & the Original Broadway Cast of Waitress
Since musicals do not normally follow the traditional structures of songs, breaking them into the same headers would be futile.
How Do I Transcribe the Song?
[CHARACTER] = character singing
— Character names should appear as referenced in libretto or default to last name. In the case of multiple characters with the same last name, the most prominent character gets the last name and the other(s) are referred to by their first
— [A & B] Two singer formatting: list the characters instead of using [BOTH]
— [A, B, C & D] Multiple singer formatting: separate with commas and ampersand only for the last character unless otherwise specified in the libretto
[CHARACTER, spoken] = dialogue
— Add ", spoken" (lowercase and preceded by a comma) to every new line of spoken dialogue
— Spoken dialogue will run together as punctuated sentences. You can ensure that your punctuation remains by adding a NBSP to the end of the final sentence (also mentioned below)
(sung) or (spoken) = if a character switches between singing and speaking without another character speaking or singing in between
I'll tell her!
You must have heard wrong, Grandma
There's no tailor
You mean the butcher, Grandma
By the name of Lazar Wolf
[Actions] = actions that are important enough to be in the libretto. Punctuation and italics help to further distinguish these from the dialogue and lyrics.
[A shot rings out. Éponine climbs over the barricade.]
One of the things we do differently than the rest of Genius is eschewing the naming of song parts—that means no [Verse 1], no [Chorus] over here. There are so many line headers to contend with the songs get bracket-heavy very quickly. This keeps the transcriptions from becoming too hard to read.
Tags & Punctuation
There is currently no Primary Tag for musicals, Pop is most commonly used. Staff have requested that we make sure to use music tags, not non-music tags. Select whichever Primary Tag comes closest to the musical's style and then choose secondary tags Musicals, and/or anything else that's applicable, e.x., Broadway.
Music tags will remove periods at the end of lines, so your hard work transcribing the dialogue in songs will be missing those ending periods once you hit save. To keep those periods at the end of your sentences, tack on the NBSP non-breaking space directly after the period and rejoice!
Counterpoint lyrics are no longer supported by Genius, but you may come across legacy transcriptions that still use HTML tables.
Different Lyrics from Different Recordings
This is something that we are currently working out on a case by case basis. Attributing recordings to the specific cast seems to alleviate these problems, but please reach out to @stepfordwitch or @sincerelyaj if you have any concerns regarding this.
Different Track Cut-Offs
Unfortunately, many musicals have the same lyrics in all their recordings, but cut the tracks at different points. Assassins is a prime example of this. Instead of creating new pages, each song will be transcribed and then added to the album. This means that track numbers may not match, but the overall lyrics will.
Example: In Assassins, the "Gun Song" and "The Ballad of Czolgosz" are combined on the Off-Broadway recording, and separate tracks on the Broadway recording. Both albums on Genius contain separate pages for each song.
If you have any questions, please reach out! We are here to help the musicals community succeed and grow!
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the song and explore its deeper meaning
Genius unfortunately doesn’t support that function anymore!