Distributing braille documens digitally, suggestions please

Dave Mielke dave at mielke.cc
Fri Oct 14 19:32:40 UTC 2005

[quoted lines by Samuel Thibault on 2005/10/14 at 21:05 +0200]

>The unicode range is not particularly designed for coding things
>vertically either. In a few words: it just codes clefs, whole / half /
>quarter notes, barlines etc. There is no vertical information, just
>codes for symbols.

Braille music notation is far more rigorously ordered than print music
notation, even when using just basic symbols. The reason, of course, is that
there are only 63 braille symbols to work with, which means that each symbol
becomes overloaded. It's very easy, simply by ever-so-slightly reordering the
braille symbols, to come up with something which is either meaningless or

Braille music also has the concept of what we might call parenthesized state
changes. If, for example, a sequence of congruent chords, e.g. each note in
combination with its major third interval, is to be played, then the first one
is marked in a certain way (first of the sequence), the last one is marked
slightly differently (last of the sequence), and all the ones in between are
simply identified by the primary note. Also, such basic things as octave
switches are marked explicitly if the note change is large and implicitly if
the note change is small. A side effect of the octave switching scheme is that
"switching to" the same octave may need to be explicitly marked if the note
change is greater than an implicit change to another octave.

Dave Mielke           | 2213 Fox Crescent | I believe that the Bible is the
Phone: 1-613-726-0014 | Ottawa, Ontario   | Word of God. Please contact me
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