I haven’t given this blog as much attention as I would have liked, as other projects have demanded their attention lately. But I am coming back to this now and would like to tell you about some of what is happening.
First, on a personal note, I (Marc Sabatella) am preparing to begin work with a blind student this fall and will use it as an opportunity to assess the current state of tools first-hand. I am also in a position where if I can find funding (e.g., grants), I will be able to make the time this year to work on accessibility close to full time. So I would very much appreciate any leads.
Second, regarding MuseScore: we have been continuing to make incremental progress, and once some pending changes are completed, merged into the main code, and released, I think we will finally be able to say we have an accessible music notation program (possible as soon as this fall). Here is a post on the MuseScore forum: https://musescore.org/en/node/292383.
There are a few other Braille tools that have been in development for a while that I would like to highlight here.
Toby Rush’s Braille Music Notator is now open source. This unique web-based tool allows blind and sighted users alike to read and write Braille music in BRF format. In the realm of conversion from MusicXML, Haipeng Hu continues to work on an ambitious framework for a Braille conversion tool he calls BrailleOrch. Meanwhile the music21 programming system – which is also open source – continues to make progress, both as a music representation system in general and with respect to its Braille support in particular.