The MIDI lyrics meta message shows the lyrics of a song at a particular time in the MIDI sequence.
Most commonly, this message will be used to display the lyrics for a particular quarter note (a syllable) and can be used for karaoke systems.
This message belongs to the category of MIDI meta messages. Since this is a meta message the MIDI event that carries this message may exist in MIDI files, but it is never sent over MIDI ports to a MIDI device.
This message consists of a variable number of bytes of data. The first byte is the status byte and has a hexadecimal value of 0xFF, which shows that this is a meta message. The second byte is the meta message type 0x05 and shows that this is the lyrics meta message. The third byte carries the length of the text to follow. The remaining bytes carry the lyrics in ASCII text.
The following is an example of a MIDI lyrics meta message.
0xFF 0x05 0x03 0x6C 0x61 0x2D
The status byte 0xFF shows that this is a meta message. The second byte is the meta type 0x05 and shows that this is the lyrics meta message. The third byte is 3, which means that the text to follow has three characters. The three characters are 0x6C 0x61 0x2D, which in ASCII translates to the syllable "la-" (without the quotes).
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)