Integration: strophic songs with complex arrangements – MORE QUESTIONS

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    On behalf of the Men With a Message (MWM) prison braille program,

    One of our transcribers has additional questions regarding the Integration of strophic songs w/ complex arrangements: Use of the volta numbers and print repeat signs.

    Please refer to the questions, braille example and print sheet music (from 'When I'm Sixty-Four") attached.

    Respectfully Submitted,


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    Hi there!

    Couple of things I noticed -  in vocal music, measure number repeats are not used. So at the lyrics "If I'd been out till..." you can't use the lower-cell 5-6. You must braille it out. (see Music Braille Code 35.8)

    I usually put CODA fully caps, at the start of the word line, not enclosed in word-sign indicators (to match what we do with REFRAIN and CHORUS etc.)

    The verse numbers of just text at the end should be enclosed in literary parentheses, not word-sign indicators.

    Ok - now to your actual question! If I start to struggle figuring out the repeat structure and which lyrics go where, I will braille it out completely, rather than have several lines of two verses together - and in this case the song has three verses, so that's not really a possibility! I tend to use more measure numbers than is "required" by the Code. Especially if there are Brailled-out repeats - having more frequent measure numbers can help the reader figure out where they are. And if they also have the piano score, which has numbers for every parallel, there will be more points of connection if the vocal score has measure numbers as well.  (FYI - in choral music and ensemble music I put measure numbers on every line! It helps a great deal when a braille-reading musician is collaborating with print-reading musicians who can easily say, let's start at measure 14!)

    So basically, once these pop songs start adding more than one verse with more than one Volta, I braille everything out. You'll find it doesn't require that much more space and will reduce complications a bunch.

    All the best!



    Anne Lattanzi

    Thank you so much for your answers to all three posts, Kathleen! All of the information you provided is really helpful and much appreciated.


    Great! Please let me know if you have more questions! Happy to help!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

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