Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

Search

Loading...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Miracle of Braille Music

In 1987 the Music Braille Committee of the World Blind Union decided to update the existing Manual of Braille Music Notation and to try to bring the major library music services together. A conference held in 1990 lead to the formation of a small consortium; FNB (Amsterdam), SBS (Zurich), ONCE (Spain), and the RNIB (UK). Together these four music braille libraries decided to build a central catalogue representing their holdings.

Over a period of six years the consortium defined its cataloguing rules based on AACR and ISBD, using Smeraglia Rules and the Groves New International Dictionary of Music and Musicians as the authority file. The resulting catalogue "the International Braille Music Catalogue" was based on non-standard software.

In 1996 the New International Manual of Braille Music Notation was published. In the following year the CANTATE project produced a system which linked music catalogues and databases of digital scores. It was natural to bring these two standard based systems together. The resulting MIRACLE project, supported by the European Commission Telematics Applications Programme (Phase 4), incorporated the four original partners, together with the Danish Library for the Blind and Regione Toscana Stamperia Braille as associate partners.

The EU-funded project began in January 1999 and formally ended in January 2001. With the encouragement of the European Commission, though without further subsidy, corresponding members have joined the project from Canada, USA, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Finland and Sweden.

The basic idea behind the MIRACLE project is simple. Blind musicians around the world need Braille music. Music is sufficiently international to cross borders. Braille music is very expensive to produce, therefore anything that will reduce the amount of duplication is to be desired. It makes sense then to set up a system in which all music braille libraries can know what the other libraries have in stock and are producing. They should then be able to get the braille from each other at rates that are substantially less than producing the piece all over again. Where pieces are held as digital files it should be possible to send these to each other over the internet.

Now it is possible to browse and search the catalogues of four libraries for the blind (FNB-The Netherlands, RNIB-UK, ONCE-Spain, SBS-Switzerland), and it is also possible to download those files that are digitally available. In this way libraries do not only know what is available in other countries but they can also request files that they then do not have to produce themselves. Braille music is labour intensive and complex to produce and by sharing resources a lot of time and money can be saved.

The creation of a worldwide virtual library of music braille files should make a dramatic difference to the services offered to visually impaired clients needing access to music in alternative formats. The partners are committed to maintaining and developing this practical service.

Further details about the activities of the MIRACLE Group can be obtained from:

FNB
Molenpad 2
1016 GM Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 0486 486 486
Fax: +31 6208459
Email: projects@fnb.nl
Web: http://projects.fnb.nl/miracle/default.htm

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.