Music Braille

Music Braille

Goal

Our goal is to ensure that more music braille scores are available more easily to more blind musicians world-wide.

This project is a cross-sector collaboration to identify, prioritise, and deliver both short-term and long-term technical improvements to secure the future of music braille production.

Read about the project’s latest developments, or continue reading to learn more about the project.

Background

photo of sheet music
Libraries for the blind and other agencies wish to secure the future of hard-copy music braille production for blind musicians who rely on it for study, pleasure or professional purposes, but these organisations face increasing limitations regarding budget and expertise.

This project does not deny the benefits of digital music technologies for blind musicians, and indeed some of our work will inform those developments, but paper music braille will be vital for many musicians for years to come, and we wish to protect this service in a cost-effective way.

In October 2017 the Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB) asked for interested parties to join a collaboration to find a solution/solutions; as we recognise that together we can achieve more than we can individually. Anyone interested is welcome to join us.

Key people

  • Arne Kyrkjebø: Project Lead. Director of Development, Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille, Norway.
  • Dr. Sarah Morley Wilkins: Project Manager and User Experience Consultant, UK.
  • Mr Haipeng Hu: Music Braille Technical Consultant, BrailleOrch, China.

Steering Group

The project team is supported by expert Steering Group members. All members of the DAISY Consortium, they come from worldwide agencies representing the needs of blind people, teachers and transcription services:

  •  Juliette Appold, Head of Music Section, National Library Service, LOC, USA.
  •  Carmen Bayarri Torrecillas, Director Bibliographic Service, ONCE, Spain.
  •  Roger Beatty, Director Accessible Publishing, CNIB, Canada.
  • Nick Bowen, Bookshare Product Manager, Benetech, USA.
  • Lia Cariboni, Team Leader Braille Music Production, SBS, Switzerland.
  • Roger Firman, Chief Executive Golden Chord, & Vice-Chair of the UK Association for Accessible Formats, and Music Subject Area, UK.
  • Avneesh Singh, Chief Operating Officer – Strategy & Operations, DAISY, India.
  • Tor Sivert Gunnes, Advisor Braille Music Notation, Statped, Norway.

Our Focus

Through our work so far we have identified four areas requiring improvement for us to be able to increase the amount of music braille produced:

  1. input files need to be as good as they can be at the start
  2. conversion and mark-up tools need to be accurate & reliable, for agencies and end-users
  3. good access is needed to existing intermediary files
  4. good teaching, learning and promotional materials are needed.

The project focus is on the first three areas in the first instance, but we will be happy to know if other groups are working on teaching, learning and promotional materials right now.

Funders

We are grateful to the following agencies which are supporting the project with financial contributions:

  • CNIB
  • DAISY Strategic Development Fund
  • MTM
  • NLB
  • Norwegian Association of the Blind
  • Nota
  • ONCE
  • RNIB
  • SBS

Join us

We have a project circulation list of over 150 worldwide music braille specialists – end users, individual and agency transcribers, music teachers, developers, service heads, musicologists and more. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to join the circulation list and/or be an active participant in this project – please email us to join: musicbraille [at] daisy [dot] org

Latest News

All our progress updates, announcements and consultations are available on our latest developments page.