Official MIDI Specifications

SMF Lyric Meta Event Definition

rp17 SMF Lyric Events Definition.pdf
This is a recommended practice (RP) defining a common implementation for the use of Lyric Meta Events within a Standard MIDI File. The Standard MIDI Files 1.0 document does not clearly define how to place text within the Lyric Meta Events, with the result that several companies have implemented lyric events in incompatible ways. 

This RP meets the requirement that Lyric Meta Events contain only ASCII characters, but defines the use and meaning of certain characters as well as how to implement the placement of text in the Lyric Meta Event in a manner suitable for both "Notation" and "Karaoke" applications.