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.
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 basics by Lea Nagel, 2013 (one-page summary of the braille code as a pdf), also available as:
- Braille music basics – braille file of the pdf
- Braille music basics – print copy of the braille file
- Basic braille music signs by Jacqui Conn (two-page summary as a pdf)
Braille music code: Manuals and guides
- Introduction to Braille Music Transcription, Second Edition 2005, by Mary Turner De Garmo, revised and edited by Lawrence R. Smith Chapters 1-6; Chapters 7-12; Chapters 13-16; Chapters 17-20; Chapters 21-23; Chapters 24-28; Chapters 29-34; Index
- Introduction to the braille music code by Jacqui Conn, 2010
- Music braille code from BANA, 1997
- Survivor’s Guide to Braille Music – an excellent resource currently unavailable from Vision Australia
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Braille code – general introduction to the braille code (including resources for UEB)
- A blind musician in the band of orchestra? Some suggestions – article by Jacqui Conn, Braille Music Consultant
- Braille music literacy – article by Jacqui Conn, Braille Music Consultant
- Braille translation software: GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator (Dancing Dots); Toccata