Open Source/Free Software for working with Braille Music Code
A small update for those interested: Since a few years now, I am working
in my spare time on several braille music related software projects.
They all have one thing in common: They are licensed under a Free and
Open license which permits distribution and modification of the software
in question free of charge. Or, put in other words, they follow the
GNU/Linux spirit of software licensing.
The first project is FreeDots, which you can find on googlecode:
FreeDots can convert MusicXML files directly to braille music.
It also allows very simple editing functionality, although currently
just limited to entering fingerings. This feature can be thought of as
an equivalent to sighted musicians putting their own fingering into a score
with a pen by hand.
Other notable features are the ability to play the score, and individual
notes, as well as a toggle to interactively switch between
bar-over-bar and section-by-section formatting without loosing the
current reading position (logical cursor position is preserved).
The backend engine of FreeDots has been integrated on the web by the
wikifonia project: On
you can download
*every* lead sheet available there in braille music format now.
In the Page layout listbox, simply choose "Braille" and hit the download
You will get a Unicode braille formatted braille music lead sheet!
Check it out, wikifonia has thausands of lead sheets these days, and you
can benefit from the work of the sighted community directly by being able to
download lead sheets in braille music code automatically transcribed for
One other porject I have just started is called bmc, the braille music
compiler: Its aim will be the reverse of what FreeDots currently does:
translating braille music code to various well-known formats like MIDI
bmc is currently under heavy development and is not ready for end users
yet, but the progress I've made in the last few weeks is pretty
promising. For instance, value disambiguation is finally done and
working great. Full measure in accord, partial measures and partial
measure in accord are all implemented as they should, no shortcuts, no compromises.
If you are into programming and braille music, give it a look here:
If you are interested in joining one of these projects as a developer or
contributor, drop me a private mail.
P.S.: FreeDots and bmc are both licensed under the GNU General Public
License. That basically means you are free to modify the programs and
redistribute your modifications, as long as you keep the license intact.
You are, however, explicitly forbidden to reuse GPL code in a commercial
software product of your own if it is not licensed under the same