Accessible Music

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Braille Music

Ever since Louis Braille invented his system for representing music, blind musicians have been able to obtain scores in the Braille music format. There are international guidelines for Braille music notation. Materials in Braille music make up the largest portion of the available alternative formats, and include the standard repertoire for most instruments, vocal and choral music, some popular music, librettos, textbooks, instructional method books, and music periodicals. However, Braille music is produced by a relatively small number of institutions throughout the world.

A Braille model that is built on notions of BrailleCells and sequences of BrailleCells is used to codify musical aspects. The protocols of these coding rules are not standardised, though there is a book of guidelines that are regarded to be a standard. Though the guidelines are very complete, there are still a few serious problems.

BrailleMusic is a sequential protocol with a defined grammar, much like serial communication through a RS232 serial interface. Starting from a graphical score, this means that a great amount of parallel data has to be ‘packed’ into sequential packages with a consistent structure.

Since the measures are represented in an object oriented music notation model as separate though associated objects, we can choose to interpret only these measures. In other words, we can limit the perceived context to only the current measure. Invoking the Braille interpreter on higher-level musical collections permits BrailleMusic interpretations of higher-level contexts.

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