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New software programs help blind musicians read and write sheet music

14 July 2013, 20:34 | Written by Ryan Thomas

A company called Dancing Dots has developed two new software programs that help better enable musicians who are blind or vision-impaired, according to NY Daily News.

One of which, called Lime Lighter, renders easier-to-read digital scores for individuals with low-vision. The second, Goodfeel, translates music notes directly to Braille.

Prior to the software, blind music students would have to mail away scores to a 3rd-party Braille translation service. Which is terribly inconvenient for students with impending concert performances.

Dancing Dots company founder and president, Bill McCann, a former professional trumpet player whose been blind since childhood, said, “If you can see the screen you see the print music; if you can hear, you hear the note itself sound, and if you can feel Braille, you can feel it on the Braille display.”

He added, “We’ve broken down the walls between the sighted and blind people. Now it’s all there.”

The software got an early test run at the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School in Manhattan, the U.S.’s only community music school for the vision-impaired.

The director of musical studies at the school, Dalia Sakas, called the programs a ‘real lifesaver,’ describing how much easier a task like producing an Opera has become.

Sakas said, “When this program first came about, the production became much swifter and more accurate. I could go out to the store, buy whatever music we wanted to do and produce it.” She added, “We could do more concerts per year, and the children had access to kicky new material, not just the old stuff.”

You can read more about the new programs here.

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