Music scores are not readily available in an accessible format to students who are taking band and/or music classes. Often the band/music director will manually create recordings for students who are not able to read the printed music. Some students and teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs) do learn the braille music code - a braille code which is different than literary and math braille codes. The TVI can create a braille version of the desired music; however, there are obvious challenges of reading braille using your fingers while playing an instrument.
WhiteNote was created to provide an alternative way to provide accessible music sheets. Printed music can be scanned and saved as an XML or MXL format and then WhiteNote, a free application, is used to read these files aloud.
Create XML files
There are two ways to create an accessible SML file:
- Scan your music sheet and store it in TIFF or BMP format. These files will be large; however, these formats are better than compressed files like JPG or PNG for OCR scanning. For best quality, use "grey scale" not "black and white". Use OCR applications such as Photo Score or Finale to convert the scanned images to XML. Like most OCR scanned materials, there will be mistakes that will need to be corrected.
- You can write your own music using an application like Sibelius or Finale and save the results in XML format.
Once the XML file has been created, WhiteNote is used to read the music aloud.
Once the music is converted, the accessible files can easily be shared. WhiteNote is creating an accessible music library; once you create a file, please share the music file.
Do you have questions or suggestions? Contact WhiteNote: firstname.lastname@example.org
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To read an article about WhiteNote, go to 'WhiteNote' app helps visually impaired learn music.