Notation software recommendation for the blind

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macOS & Mac Apps

hello everyone, please help me find the creator software that can be accessed by voiceOver. I want to make a partitur for my visible friends. sorry if my english is bad. I'm using google translate. thank you for your answer.

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Submitted by PaulMartz on Sunday, September 17, 2017

I've been using MuseScore. I've been using it as a low vision user with VoiceOver enabled. It's free software, so you could try it and perhaps it will work for you.

Submitted by dharmaputra on Sunday, September 17, 2017

hello mister paul, first i want to introduce myself. my name is DharmaPutra from indonesia. you have said musescore can be used by voiceOver users. but how to do it? Please help.

Submitted by peter on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Symphony Pro is reasonably accessible with VoiceOver for writing a score. There are a numberr of keyboard shortcuts built in for use with VO. When first in the program hit OptionsKey+K to get into the Help mode to find these hotkeys.

The developer has been reasonably receptive to feedback on making this app accessible. That being said, it is a complex app with a fairly busy UI and could take some time to get used to. Not all aspects will be accessible with VO, but many aspects are accessible and the app is improving.

If you try it out let us know how it goes.

--Pete

Submitted by dharmaputra on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

hello peter, what do you mean is simhony pro for iPhone? if yes, I have difficulty finding a shortcut on the keyboart.

Submitted by peter on Thursday, November 22, 2018

Here is a link to Symphony Pro on the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/symphony-pro-music-notation/id412380315?mt=8 --Pete

Submitted by dharmaputra on Friday, November 23, 2018

does the vitur apps have to be opened by subscribing?

Submitted by peter on Friday, November 23, 2018

Dharmaputra,

I don't understand your question. Symphony Pro is a paid app. I believe that there are some in app purchases that unlock some features. The current version in the app store is 5, but I believe version 6 should be a bit more accessible with VoiceOver when it comes out.

If you Google for notation software you will find several open source projects with free software that can be used for some purposes depending on what your needs are.

--Pete

Submitted by dharmaputra on Friday, February 22, 2019

Hello everyone, I want to ask again about making music notation for blind people. according to all of you, can garage bands be music notation software that can be used?

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Monday, June 22, 2020

There's not really a good notation app for Apple devices... I mean, there are, but they have to be improved. I do use a notation software, but it's on Windows... I want to hold off on typing the name of it because I don't want to get into any trouble because this website is focused more on Apple related topics... but if you want me to post the name and website of the software, I can.

Hi!
If you’ve tried using Musescore about 2 years ago, I hope, that something in accessibility was changed, or will change in next versions... About accessibility on Windows I know, by using Musescore with NVDA, but problem with MacOS is important in my opinion... But guys, do you know something about this partnership between Avid and Berklee? Avid’s website and some texts on the blog says, that it should make the newest versions of Sibelius accessible for Windows screenreaders, but allso with MacOS and Voiceover. If some of you could check this situation, we all could know something more...

Submitted by thetrumpetking on Friday, June 26, 2020

Hi everyone,

The Sibelius partnership with Berklee College of Music started in the fall of last year. At this point Sibelius is about 90% accessible on both Mac and Windows. In fact, many Sibelius users now are using it on the Mac, because it offers the most stable experience. There is a WhatsApp group you can get involved in, as well as the Sibelius Access Google group. I used to work in the assistive music technology program at Berklee, so I know the people involved in the project.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, June 26, 2020

I am delighted to hear Sibelius is 90% accessible. Before I dive in to learn the app, though, can you tell me what parts of Sibelius are not accessible?

Thanks,

Bruce

Submitted by Jonathan Candler on Friday, June 26, 2020

Question. Could I use this program to chart music notation? If that's what it's designed to do? Sometimes I have to do shows or gigs that require charts. I'm actually new to this sort of stuff as I never delt with charting before and I've always had to have sited help writing out charts for me, but I'd like to get to where I can actually do this sort of stuff on my own.

Submitted by thetrumpetking on Sunday, June 28, 2020

Hi again everyone,

Their are no additional settings that you need to configure to get sibelius to work with VoiceOver. There are some additional verbosity options that you can configure in the sibelius preferences dialogue which affect how VoiceOver reads while navigating through your score. You can use sibelius for everything from making charts for a combo to scoring for full orchestra, concert band, jazz ensembles etc. When I say that the program is around 90 percent accessible, I only say that because of small bugs that Avid is actively working on to make sibelius work more smoothly with all screen readers. For instance, Avid just fixed a bug in which voiceover was falsely reporting the number of beats in a measure when selecting a group of notes to slur together. It would say something like, “selected from bar 1 beat 1, to bar 1 beat 5”, when their were only 4 beats in the measure. Another somewhat annoying bug that is still present is that VoiceOver doesn't read when you change the value in pop-up buttons in dialogues. In order to find out what choice you made, you need to press tab and then shift tab to get VoiceOver to read your selection. Avid is very proactive in addressing bugs as they are reported and they usually release an update every couple of months. The people from Berklee and Avid who are working on the project will have more specific information about what bugs are still present in the most current update. The bugs that are still present do not affect your workflow significantly.

Submitted by Patryk M. on Sunday, June 28, 2020

In reply to by thetrumpetking

Hi,
I want to ask only for sure, in whih version of Sibelius accessibility is the best? Only the nevest version, or older to?

Submitted by thetrumpetking on Sunday, June 28, 2020

Hi Patryk,

Sibelius 2020.6 is the latest version which has the most up-to-date accessibility enhancements.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Monday, June 29, 2020

In reply to by thetrumpetking

Hi thetrumpetking,

I'm serious about purchasing Sibelius, but I haven't found a2020 ver 6.0. What I have found is Sibelius Ultimate and just plain Sibelius, with either a monthly, yearly or permanent subscription (although the permanent version still requires annual payments for updates etc.). My question is, which version do you recommend? Or if you prefer, which version do you use, or which version are you most happy with? Also, is the "user Guide" accessible? Is there a blind user discussion group just for Sibelius accessibility, and if so, what is the address? What is the learning curve for someone who is quite competent using braille music notation but who has never used notation software? What is the learning curve for someone who is quite familiar with VoiceOver? I will be getting your recommended version for my iMac Pro. I use the latest Logic Pro X with the latest MacOS, and I love to compose, but to have sighted musicians perform my stuff, I need to be able to use notation software.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Best wishes,

Bruce

Submitted by dharmaputra on Sunday, July 12, 2020

I used to use Sibelius version 8. I tried the demo version to see if it could be read by Voice Over. but, it can't be read at all.

Hi!
Everything is not so easy, because Sibelius has really many functions, but yes, I can sey, that Sib 2020.06 is accessible. To be onest, I have to know keyboard shortcuts, for example to make easy navigation by scores and everything - I just have to know this program, but I see, that people are making a lot of work, to make it accessible. If some of you have any link to shortcuts, which are helpful for blind user, and allso link to some acces google group, i will be gratefull! Thanks for earlyer answers!

Submitted by Patryk M. on Friday, July 17, 2020

Hello, I have one question about preferences menu in Sibelius: How can I use "Current feature set"? I want to actiwate notebook - laptop shortcuts in this menu, but I have problem with it. If I try to click on touchpad or by keyboard to choose "current feature set" in keyboard shortcuts tab in preferences, I can not see this menu with "notebook, laptop shortcuts" to select it. Where is my mistake? If it is not good place for this question, please let me know some Sibelius accessibility group for Mac users...

Submitted by Igna Triay on Saturday, July 18, 2020

Give Sibelius a try. It has a free version, Sibelius first. Haven't messed with it that much, however it seems to work good with voiceover. You do not have to purchace Sibelius at first. If your just starting out; go for sibelious first. That's a free version of Sibelius if your just starting out with it, you can purchace Sibelius after determining if its good for your needs.

Submitted by Patryk M. on Sunday, July 19, 2020

In reply to by Igna Triay

Yes, in my opinion Sibelius works with Voiceover really good. The only problem for now is for me preferences menu... I can open main tabs by arow keys, but the menu inside one of it - keyboard shortcuts - is problematic: to turn on laptop, notebook keyboard shortcuts, i have to enter in to "current feature set" - I can not actiwate it. My mistake, I think, but dont know where.