FreeDots: MusicXML to Braille music translation

Mario Lang mlang at
Wed Feb 13 17:36:28 UTC 2008

Hi all.

This is a mail for the musicians among us.  If you do not need/want to
read music (in braille), you can safely skip this mail.

As some of you might know, there are pretty decent OMR (Optical Music
Recognition) programs around.  Those can export music notation to
MusicXML format usually.  I have started a small project
to convert MusicXML files to braille music notation.

Obviously, this is a very complicated thing to get fully right
as those of you that can read braille music might be able to guess.
But given the relatively small amount of time I have invested
so far, it does actually do something useful already.

The project homepage is at

This is at a very early stage, so do not expect it to do
much right.  However, that said, single staff music seems
to render fine in most cases.

At this stage, I could use help from people knowledgeable
with braille music.  Also, if you are into the OMR bussiness (maybe
a GoodFeel user?) I could also make use of good example
files.  The most seeked for are obviously error-corrected
MusicXML files.  If you have scanned some music in the past
and had a sighted person correct the errors the OMR made,
please consider exporting it to MusicXML and send it to me.
If you also have the output for the same sheet music in braille,
that would be very valueable to compare the output of FreeDots to.

If you are a musician and a programmer (I am afraid this is going to be rare),
please consider contributing to FreeDots.  There are several ares
that haven't even been started yet that could use some man power.
For instance, a MIDI output module would be desireable, so that we
can listen to what we read.

If you have anything to contribute, please send private
mail.  At this stage, a public discussion on this list doesnt seem
very useful since the target audience is pretty specific and
the project is far from being user-friendly...


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