Music Braille Production Network

Globe surrounded by people

Music Braille Production NetworkGlobe with people around the outside

This page is for

  1. Participants taking part in the trial of the DAISY Music Braille Production Network 2021-2022.
  2. People interested in finding out more about the developing network and the trial.

Introduction

One of the ways in which the DAISY Music Braille Project is working to secure the future of music braille production and use is the development of a global Music Braille Production Network.

This Network is based on a proposal made by SBS (Lia Cariboni and Manfred Muchenberger), so that agencies can source, procure and provide music braille resources between each other in an efficient way. These resources could be for individual end-users and/or for library collections. The original SBS proposal has been worked up in collaboration with interested sector colleagues in the DAISY Music Braille Project.

The need for this kind of network

  • Some agencies do not currently have music braille expertise at all and rely on other agencies for their production (called Requesting Agencies/Customers in our model).
  • Those agencies who do have music braille expertise wish to protect that expertise and ensure sufficient demand to keep skills alive (called Producers in our model).
  • The demand for music braille can vary throughout the year (e.g. very high at times of exams, new academic terms, concert seasons) when resources may be exceptionally stretched, but relatively low at other times and it makes sense to share resources when needed.
  • Music braille requests vary from simple to complex scores, vocal, choral, orchestral and instrumental, through to long music textbooks containing literary braille interspersed with music braille. Different producers have specialisms in music braille for some/all of those music types.
  • The Marrakesh Treaty makes it possible for files to be more easily shared/converted into accessible formats, including music braille.

Trialling the network

  • During 2021 we designed a process and prepared the resources needed for the network in consultation with sector experts.
  • We invited all interested parties to conduct a walk-through trial of the network to assess its efficacy, either as Producers (i.e. able to supply music braille to other agencies either from their own existing collection, or by transcribing them themselves); as Requesting Agencies (i.e. searching for and procuring music braille from other agencies, on behalf of their customers or own libraries); or both.
  • We will be trialling the Network throughout 2022, reviewing the process, the communications and the outcomes, when we will be begin to make recommendations for the future.

Summary of the trial process

  1. Step 1: Initial Score Search
    The Requesting Agency checks online collections, and asks the Network if anyone has a suitable music braille score. Producers respond with details if they have the score.
  2. Step 2: Transcription Request (if no suitable score is located)
    The Requesting Agency sends out a detailed Job Request to the Network, requesting quotes from Producers able to undertake the transcription. We are currently proposing a distinction between work on a ‘Standard’ score and work on an ‘Advanced’ score, depending on the nature of the original material and how much work needs to be done. We will be considering this distinction, and whether Producers should charge their normal fees, or whether a standardized fee structure would be preferable across the Network.

Reference resources

The proposal and documentation for the trial

Score production trial

During 2022 we are also running a small trial with Producers in the Network, who will each transcribe the same two short pieces according to the same job Request. These will be reviewed by music braille readers to explore similarities/differences between transcriptions. We hope to be able to make recommendations for Producers which would make it easier to prepare scores for international use, and guidance for blind musicians so they can more easily understand scores produced in different countries.

 

Trial participants

Taking part as both Producer and Customer:

  • SBS, Switzerland
  • Vision Australia, Australia
  • Helen Braille Music Group, Japan
  • Italian Library for the Blind, Italy

Taking part as a Producer only:

  • Golden Chord, UK
  • Braille Orch, China
  • RNIB, UK
  • dzb lesen, Germany
  • Dedicon, Netherlands

Taking part as a Customer only:

  • NLS, USA
  • NLB, Norway
  • ONCE, Spain

The Music Braille Producers in the trial

BrailleOrch (China)

As a blind musician with professional and systematic music education, I’m able to transcribe braille music from simple song to complete ballet and symphony for large choir and orchestra with high quality and efficiency. I’ve transcribed 600+ scores in braille within 5 years, and posted them on my project site.

Dedicon (Netherlands)

Dedicon converts existing sheet music to braille. Our experts have a vast knowledge of sheet music, braille and conversion tools. They are involved during the entire process, from supplying the source material to delivering the braille sheet music. Our experts assess the quality of the material provided and decide about the production method.

dzb lesen (Germany)

Description to follow.

Golden Chord (UK)

Golden Chord produces a wide range of braille music. Its website: www.golden-chord.com has further information.

Helen Braille Music Library (Japan)

The Japan Helen Braille Music Library was established by a team of Japanese Women who translated Braille music. We contributed our own textbooks and music scores for the visually impaired people who studied and engaged in music work. After more than 20 years of hard work, we have turned a lot of time and energy, translated hundred pieces of music, focusing on classical piano music, Bach’s organ works. In recent years we also helped Chinese visually impaired people to translate many Chinese composers’ music works.

Italian Library for the Blind (Italy)

Description to follow.

RNIB (UK)

Our highly skilled team of music transcribers have individually amassed over 20 years’ experience in turning the most complex scores into Braille for blind and visually impaired customers. We work with examining boards, schools, universities, commercial organisations and individual customers to provide Braille Music for exams, study, performances or leisure.

SBS Schweizerische Bibliothek für Blinde, Seh- und Lesebehinderte AG (Switzerland)

Braille sheet music: We carry a wide range of Braille vocal and instrumental sheet music for  blind musicians. We are able to offer you a range of sheet music in  Braille that the library itself has produced, as well as sheet music from other providers. We are able to transfer Music Scores into Braille music accessible format for international organisations and companies. We employ international standard music notation in our rendering process: New International Manual of Braille Music Notation, Bettye Krolick 1996.

Vision Australia (Australia)

Description to follow.

Find out more

To stay in touch with the project as it progresses please contact us at musicbraille [at] daisy [dot] org and we will add you to our mailing list.