Music for All with Open Source Software

I am embarrassed to admit that I have never in my life considered the struggle of blind musicians to find Braille music scores. I did not realize until last week that only about 1% of sheet music is available in an accessible format, but my friend Robert Douglass is hoping to change that with his Open Well-Tempered Clavier - Ba©h to Bach project on Kickstarter.com.

To get a better idea of what the lack of Braille music scores means to an actual musician, see Eunah Choi's video below.

The Open Well-Tempered Clavier Kickstarter project began with the goal of creating a public domain score and recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, with the intention of making Bach's work, a cultural treasure, accessible to all without the burden of copyright. Along the way, Robert and the others behind this project discovered that full accessibility is a much greater challenge. While a public domain score and recording tears down a few walls, other walls remain for those can't see the score. To that end, the project's goal has now been extended to include a Braille version of the Bach score, and with enough funding, a means to convert tens of thousands of scores into Braille thanks to open source software.

The underlying issue is about creating a process whereby existing open source music tools can be made to work together properly, and then be used to generate Braille scores, as no open source tools yet exist for creating Braille music. The specific technical challenge will be to complete work on an open source Braille converter for the MusicXML format, which would then allow the 50,000 scores on MuseScore.com, and any future additions, to be downloaded as a Braille file that is then readable with a Braille terminalMuseScore.com is a web service that facilitates creating, sharing, and storing sheet music using MuseScore's open source music notation software. As an interesting sidenote, MuseScore's popularity is on the rise compared to its proprietary equivalents (see the illustration of Google trends below), so score another point for team open source and for music educators as well.

While the initial funding goal of the Kickstarter project has been met, additional funding would allow for the additional software development necessary to take existing code from the Freedots project and, among other things, turn it into a viable and free web-service that would automatically convert MusicXML files to Braille. Read more about the technical challenges of this project at OpenSource.com and please visit the Kickstarter site to learn all about the project.

______________________

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her chatting on the IRC channel or on Twitter.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

The car ran and drove, but

sollen's picture

The car ran and drove, but there were a number of issues. Although the seller claimed a recent timing belt job, he had no records 10W 24V LED Trailer driving lamp to back up his claim. Given that the timing covers looked undisturbed, I’m going to err on the side of caution and replace the timing belt and water pump while I’m in there.

Thanking

jobtardis's picture

thanks for sharing this useful postings.. Software Testing Jobs

I think there is still great

jacjasson's picture

I think there is still great value in commenting on blogs Indiegogo but as you mention you have to do it the right way.

Business Crowdfunding Platform Online Fundraising Website Youve

jacjasson's picture

I think there is still great value in commenting on blogs Indiegogo but as you mention you have to do it the right way.

What do you get?

Robert Douglass's picture

Thanks Katherine for the great, personal, article. What can you get by backing our project, aside from good karma? How about a CD of Kimiko Ishizaka playing Bach? Or a braille embossed print of an original artwork, commissioned for this project? Or, best of all, the dedication of one of Bach's Preludes or Fugues, to someone you love, immortalizing your respect, and your support for this project.

Thanks to everyone for spreading the message about this project. Let's make it real - and fund it to the next level.

Humbly yours,

Robert Douglass

Webinar
One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Webinar
Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix