Braille Music Instruction questions

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    I have five separate questions. I've searched the boards and I've downloaded a ton of materials, but I'm not getting a lot of answers to these particular issues.

    When transcribing a basic braille music instruction book, (not transcription of a piece of music)...

    1. In the Special Symbols Page, do all the musical notation symbols used in the volume need to be listed? Is there an example Special Symbols Page somewhere for a music instruction book? The closest I've come to an answer was the brf of the Music Braille Code and it is from 2015. I just wanted to be sure that I wasn't missing something that should be in there.
    2.  Along this line, on the Special Symbols Page, I'm very confused about "braille order." I have examples of Special Symbols pages, but it doesn't really explain what braille order means and how to determine where to place other symbols that are not in the example.
    3. There are print notes shown without showing tone or on a staff, etc. Like an eighth note, sixteeth note, etc. How do you show just notes in space? There are a lot of them. Are there braille equivalent symbols universally used, or should transcriber defined symbols or tactile graphics be used in these instances?
    4. Also, there are finger placement on instruments shown. Is there some method that has been used to show graphics like this?
    5. Finally... The print music notation is shown, followed by the braille equivalent.  If you braille the print and the braille, it's (sort of) duplicated. The teacher, who is blind, might have blind and sighted students. How do you express there is print musical notation shown to the teacher? TN?

    I know that's a lot to ask, but it's been a question of mine for some time anyway. Might as well learn and do it right!






    Hi there!

    Let’s see if I can help with these very good questions!

    1. No, all the music symbols do not need to be on the special symbols page. The Music Braille Code Table of Signs does include indication of symbols that need to be on a SS page – they are indicated by asterisks. Apart from that, I tend to list symbols that I need to look up when transcribing. If I have to look it up, it’s probably not very common and therefore couldn’t hurt being on the list.
    2. Braille order is like alphabetical order, but with using the dot configurations to determine the order. Section 1.1.2. of the Rules of Unified English Braille gives the braille order in a handy table that I actually printed out and put on my wall above my computer. Also, there is an index of signs at the end of the Music Braille Code that lists the symbols in braille order. It is quite useful in putting together your special symbols page.
    3. We use the note C to represent any note just hanging out without a staff (also used in unpitched percussion music).
    4. We have ways of doing fingering charts for the instruments. The method is determined by the instrument.
    5. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this question. If we are transcribing the print into braille, there won’t be any need for the print any longer. Sometimes when we transcribe for a teacher, we will do a “facsimile” transcription, including elements that are normally omitted from braille music, such as clef signs and the like. But otherwise, I don’t see the need to have anything duplicated.

    Let me know if you need any more clarification!



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