Music Braille – Latest Developments
You’ll find all the news, progress updates, announcements, consultations and reports from the DAISY Music Braille Project shared on this page, with our most recent developments at the top.
- Video: ‘Securing the future of music braille production’: a video presentation at the Tactile Reading Conference, 29-30 April, Oslo.
With captions, transcript and presentation slides. Sarah Morley Wilkins, the Project Manager, gives an overview of why the music braille sector needed our combined attention, and describes our strategic interventions with file format standards, conversion tools, guidance for producers, and engraving guidelines to help music braille production remain possible for years to come. She also describes further work required in this area.
- Project news – Q1 update covering activities January to March 2021.
Includes: an update on development progress for the interactive end-user tool (MuseScore and SMB); update on the automated professional converter tool (MakeBraille); upcoming work areas for the project (including updates on the proposal for a network of agencies wishing to source/provide music braille from/to other agencies; working with publisher workflows; and teaching and learning of music braille)); and news from around the sector. Thanks to our funders 2020 & 2021.
- Project news – Q4 update covering activities October to December 2020.
Includes: Q1 plans for interactive user tool development by MuseScore and Sao Mai Braille, latest developments of the automated professional converter tool MakeBraille from dzb lesen, news from around the sector, including a survey for libraries for the blind looking for resources to support visually impaired musicians in Turkey; and sincere thanks to our funders for 2020, and for 2021.
- Announcement: Funding for an interactive music braille user tool awarded for development of MuseScore and Sao Mai Braille (16.11.2020)
The Steering Group of the DAISY Music Braille Project was grateful to receive a variety of proposals for the development of an interactive user tool for music braille according to our prioritized sector requirements. After very careful consideration they have chosen to support related proposals for the development of MuseScore (submitted by Peter Jonas, UK), and of Sao Mai Braille (submitted by Phúc Dang Hoai, Vietnam) from the non-profit agency Sao Mai Centre for the Blind. These combined developments will be invaluable for blind musicians of any age learning to read, study or create music braille with multimedia input and output. Full details are in the attached announcement, and all the documents, video presentations and related links are below if you wish to read more about their proposals: We will keep you up to date, and the Steering Group wishes to thank all the developers who submitted proposals. It was a hard choice.
- Written responses for the development of MuseScore and Sao Mai Braille in response to our Requirements and call for funding:
- Video presentations which accompanied written responses:
- Related links:
- Sao Mai Centre for the Blind
- SM Music Reader app can be downloaded for a trial on Google Playstore
- Reference clip about the SM Music Reader app, presented on October 8th at the Connecting To Dots conference organized by CNIB: “Barrier-free of Reading Scores with SM Music Reader App”.
- “Securing the Future of Music Braille Production: the DAISY Music Braille Project” (Paper and presentation at the ICEB 7th General Assembly)
Sarah’s paper and presentation on the project at the ICEB 7th General Assembly (virtual event) Monday 19 October, part of the session on Music Braille.
– Video recording of presentation on YouTube (14 mins)
– Audio recording of presentation (14 mins)
– Full paper (MS Word version)
– All papers and audio recordings from the ICEB General Assembly
- Project news – Q3 update covering activities July to September 2020
Includes: news of development of MakeBraille (the professional automated conversion tool); status of applications from developers for an interactive user tool; and announcement of ICEB General Assembly sessions on music braille.
- Project news – Q2 update covering activities April to June 2020
Includes: grateful thanks for two new funding contributions; news of development progress with MakeBraille-Hodder (the professional automated conversion tool we’re supporting); status of the funding application process for the interactive user tool; and related music braille news, including an update from Dancing Dots on changes in GOODFEEL.
- Developers’ Pack – Funding invitation; User Requirements documents; Response form
All the files in one place for developers of interactive user tools for music braille: the invitation to developers to apply for funding support; the two Requirements Documents needed; and a Response form to submit full responses.
– 30 June 2020 – confirm intention to submit a full response.
– 31 August 2020 – full responses due.
- “Requirements for Interactive User Tools for Music Braille”
A prioritized set of functional requirements for consideration by developers for inclusion in interactive user tools for music braille creation, exploration and conversion, based on our Requirements Survey, which closed in January 2020. This, and responses from developers, will hopefully be the basis for future development work in existing or new tools for blind musicians to create, explore and export music for education, private or professional use.
- Project news – Q1 update covering activities January to March 2020
Includes: notification that the project meeting in June in Madrid is cancelled, with ideas for staying in touch; project progress updates and new features in dzb lesen’s Hodder music braille conversion tool; and related news of music braille activities. Attachments sent out with the update:
- Guide to Choosing MusicXML Files suitable for Music Braille Transcription (comments welcome)
- American English vs British English music terminology (comments welcome)
- Announcement: Tactile Reading 2021 Conference
Project members are glad to be involved in this event of relevance for music braille specialists. Visit the Upcoming Events page for the call for abstracts.
- Project news – Q4 update covering activities October to December 2019
Includes: a round-up of last quarter’s work; how our funding has been secured for 2020; and the upcoming technical development planned for Hodder, dzb lesen’s music braille conversion tool.
- CLOSED: User Tools Consultation Reminder: please tell us what features you’d like to see added to music braille user tools to explore, read, write and output music – complete the online survey by 31 January or simply email us with your views by the same date: musicbraille [at] daisy [dot] org.
- Questionnaire on a virtual global competence centre
A survey and presentation from SBS to identify interest in participating in a virtual global competence centre for Braille music production. Deadline for responses: 31 March 2020.
- Requirements Capture for Interactive User Tools for Music Braille
CLOSED: deadline 31 January 2020.
We are seeking sector responses to additional requirements specific to interactive user tools, which supplement existing requirements already prioritized by the sector.
- Announcement: New app for accessible music and braille converter tool (SM Music Reader; and SM Braille)
An introduction to two tools from the non-profit Sao Mai Centre for the Blind in Vietnam which may be valuable for educators, agencies, or their clients/students.
- Announcement: Your financial help is needed to secure the future of music braille
An appeal for contributions to the project to fund the necessary improvements to tools, standards and practices for music braille production for education, employment and leisure.
- Project news and call for help
Quarterly news of the projects latest achievements, funding secured, and how you can get involved in testing and supporting tool development.
- “What factors act as barriers and enablers for braille users undertaking GCSE music?” Harry Cox, 2019.
An MEd dissertation for the University of Birmingham, shared with project members attached to the project news message.
- Steering Group Announcement
We are delighted to introduce our first Steering Group members selected for the project from nominations received – eight experts with a good mix of skills and requirements to support the project.
- Invitation to join the project Steering Group
This will be created in the fall of 2019 to help direct the project. Deadline for nominations to be received: midnight on Friday 13 September.
Geneva Meeting, May 28-29. A two-day meeting primarily to discuss the prioritized requirements for music braille conversion tools resulting from consultation responses, and to hear responses from tool developers.
- Agenda v2
- Meeting notes, Presentation files and Developer Responses (zip file)
- Papers and Updates (zip file)
- OLD: Outline agenda and registration information
- “Findings from the DAISY Music Braille Conversion Tool Requirements Survey”
A prioritized set of functional requirements for consideration by developers for inclusion in music braille conversion tools, based on our Requirements Survey, which closed in March. This, and responses from developers, will form the basis of our Geneva Meeting, and will hopefully be the basis for future development work in existing tools.
Our first response submitted to the W3C Music Notation Community Group on our requirements for future developments.
- Requirements Capture for Music Braille Conversion Tools
CLOSED: Consultation closes 15 March
The Requirements Document for consultation, which includes the link to the online survey for submitting responses.
- Proposals for MusicXML 3.2 and MNX
A collation of requirements for W3C Music Notation Community Group;
CLOSED: Feedback deadline 28 Feb.
- Tips for producing a MusicXML file prior to importing into braille music translation software
A draft guidance document for sighted people checking and correcting a MusicXML file using music notation software, ready for conversion into braille.
CLOSED: Feedback to Sarah by 29 March.
- MusicXML Markup Spec
A draft specification document for experts, who may need to make manual edits to the MusicXML file ready for conversion into braille.
CLOSED: Feedback to Sarah by 29 March.
- SMuFL Glyphs Mapping to Braille Equivalent
A draft specification document for software developers to display correct braille symbols for particular Glyphs.
CLOSED: Feedback to Sarah by 29 March.
Round Table, London, 31 October:
A second discussion and planning session on the future direction of standards and tools for the production and sharing of music braille files.
- Agenda for London Round Table
- Notes of London Round Table
- Presentation files from London Round Table
- Full transcript of London Round Table, in NLB’s new free web-based DAISY ‘Browser Book’ tool:
Description of the Browser Book:
- Browser book is a simple playback solution developed by NLB for playing fulltext audio books.
- The main objective is to ensure that everyone has access to a simple, installation-free and free method of playing audiobooks on PC, Mac or Chromebook.
- Works on all browsers, except Safari for Mac and IE for Windows (due to security settings in these browsers.
User functionality in brief:
- Easy screen reader adaptation via button.
- You can navigate by scrolling in text and or moving through headers / pages.
- You can adjust the playback speed.
- Use browser settings to customize appearance such as color scheme, font, font size, etc.
- You can search the text via the default search function in the selected browser.
- Bookmarks are not supported but the player remembers the last position when you open the book next time.
- Feedback on this early version welcome, to eivind [dot] haugen [at] nlb [dot] no
- “Music Braille Production in 2018” a Phase 2 Research Report from the DAISY Music Braille Project
This detailed final report of the findings from the Phase 2 survey will be of relevance to anyone involved in the music braille industry as it covers the four areas listed above.
- Tools listed in the Phase 2 Research Report
A spreadsheet listing the various tools referenced in the Phase 2 Research Report with links to their webpages. This may not be an exclusive list of all tools available in the sector, but lists those raised in the surveys.
Round Table, Leipzig, 14 June:
A discussion and planning session on the future direction of standards and tools for the production and sharing of music braille files.
- Agenda for Leipzig Round Table
- Meeting Notes of Leipzig Round Table (with links to YouTube recordings)
- Powerpoint Presentation from Italian Library for the Blind
- Proposed Next Steps
- Phase 2 survey (second survey)
Based on findings from the Draft Research Outline, this second survey explored four specific areas in greater depth across the sector, including gathering some end-user experience.
- Draft Research Outline (first survey)
This survey identified and explored relevant products, projects, people, issues, concerns and plans across the sector.