Braille Music

The braille music code allows music to be notated using braille cells so that music can be read by blind musicians; it is a code that all blind students should have the opportunity to learn.

Lea teaching the basics of the braille music code to a sighted music teacher.

SVRC staff member Lea Nagel (shown in the photo on the left) comments, “Braille music is not a difficult code and once the student’s music teacher understands the basics of braille music, he or she can work together with the student in a more meaningful way. I am sometimes asked when the blind student should be introduced to braille music and my answer is: at the same time as their sighted peers. When the teacher is introducing print music notation to the class, the blind student can have the braille music notation under their fingers.”

Braille music code: Summaries and cheat sheets

Braille music code: Manuals and guides

Music files for download

  • Melodies in Print and Braille by Jordie Howell and Lea Nagel – basic tunes for teachers of blind students. The pdf files are designed to be produced as a tactual resource – print on A4 swell paper and run through a heat machine (eg PIAF) so that the braille will be the correct size.
  • Five Cheeky Monkeys – for production using swell paper and heat machine (pdf). Five Cheeky Monkeys can be played on individual Angel Chimes or the piano. It can be played through as it is written OR will sound pleasing if each line is played by different players at the same time. It also offers a sample for the basic notation of simple notes and rests, allowing the comparison between braille and print for the sighted and the tactual user.
  • Braille music transcribed by Christina Davidson – resources for transcribers and educators including Happy Fingers Book 1 and Book 2 (print and braille music files of 20 easy public domain songs)
  • Vision Australia Library – download free braille files for members

National Braille Music Camp

  • Braille music camp – annual camp held in the New South Wales township of Mittagong – email

Related resources