Music for Visual Impairment Person
Start date: 01 Nov 2012,
Although music is the only totally accessible art for the non-sighted, there has been a strong decline in music studies for them in Europe over the last 30 years. The main reason is that Braille scores are necessarily linear representations of the originals, which requires huge mental work in deciphering them. The blind cannot "grasp" the structure of scores and learning is much more complex for them than for the sighted, which consequently tends to discourage beginners. A variety of alternatives have been developed in recent years, to fill in the gap between music literacy and the blind. Many software programs have been developed within European Projects; some are based on the concept that music access for the blind can be actually achieved only if they are enabled to access scores in all grammatical, lexical and formal aspects. These software solutions can replace many of the tasks performed by the sight in visual score-reading, such as overview, structure understanding, capability to follow one melodic line among many. The combined use of existing aids (voice synthesiser, Braille display/embosser, keyboard interaction) has allowed blind musicians to use diverse methodologies and file formats for navigating scores. Music4Vip main goals are: to reduce the gap between Braille music and the non-sighted by designing, developing and testing a new didactical methodology that can exploit the new software in a context of integrated education; to produce materials for sighted music teachers with a basic IT knowledge and no knowledge of Braille notation; harness Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to develop innovative education practices in the field of music training for blind users of conventional schools, music institutes, universities and conservatories; to improve access to all levels of education and training, from basic schools up to special music, composition and adult training courses, also favouring the development of advanced management systems.
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