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Opus Technologies Music Braille Product Guide

Opus Technologies now sells the standard learning and reference materials for music braille, and music braille transcription software. This guide will help you decide which resources best meet your needs.

  1. Learning Braille Music

    We recommend that you start with How to Read Braille Music, 2nd Edition by Bettye Krolick (1998, 44 pages). This book gives an overview of braille music, and explains the music braille symbols most frequently found in elementary through intermediate-level music. Written at a fifth grade reading level, it is suitable for both children and adults. Our best-seller (over 1600 copies sold), this book is available in print ($12.95), braille ($19.95), and CD-ROM for PC Windows ($79). Get the braille version for the blind musician, and the print version for the sighted teacher, parent, or aide. The CD-ROM edition has interactive features and plays back the musical examples.

    The Primer of Braille Music by Edward Jenkins (1960 with 1971 addenda, 136 pages) teaches braille music in 30 lessons with braille music reading exercises. Available in print ($41) and braille ($30).

    If you want to learn how to transcribe printed music into braille, get Introduction to Braille Music Transcription by Mary Turner De Garmo (1974, 281 pages), the text used by those studying to become certified music braille transcribers in the U.S. It gives detailed transcribing lessons and has lots of examples and exercises. Available in print for $63.

  2. Teaching Blind Music Students

    For music teachers of blind piano students, They Shall Have Braille Music by Dorothy Dykema (1986, 62 pages) is filled with helpful tips regarding the unique needs of blind piano students, and gives alternative methods for teaching blind musicians. Available in print for $10.

  3. Music Braille Transcription Software

    For sighted parents, teachers, aides and transcribers, we now offer two new PC Windows software programs that let you transcribe printed music into braille, even if you don't know the music braille code. Each program consists of a music notation editor, a music-to-braille translator, and a braille editor, all integrated into one easy-to-use package.

    The low-cost entry-level OpusDots Lite program translates single-line music for solo band instruments (e.g. flute, clarinet, trumpet) or orchestral instruments (e.g. violin, viola, cello). You scan the printed music, then enter the music manually by clicking on each musical element over the scanned image.

    The full-featured Toccata program translates music of any complexity, including songs with lyrics, piano music, and orchestral scores. You scan the printed music, then use the included SharpEye music recognition program to automatically recognize and edit the musical elements. You can also import MIDI files, or enter the music manually with the built-in notation editor. The program then translates the entered music automatically into braille, with a user-selectable choice of braille music formats.

    OpusDots Lite sells for $299, while Toccata sells for $795. OpusDots Lite users can upgrade to Toccata for $495. For GOODFEEL and Concert-O-Braille users, a competitive upgrade to Toccata is available for $595.

  4. Music Braille Code Books

    We offer two reference books that contain detailed explanations of the rules for the music braille code. They're not meant to be read cover to cover, but they're handy for looking up how specific musical situations are done in braille. They each have a braille sign index so you can find out what a specific braille sign means, and an alphabetic index so you can look up terms like arpeggio or pizzicato.

    The New International Manual of Braille Music Notation compiled by Bettye Krolick (1996, 282 pages) explains the braille music signs and rules that have been adopted as the new international standard by 16 countries in the World Blind Union. It is available in print ($79), braille in 3 volumes ($89), and CD-ROM for PC Windows ($149). In the CD-ROM edition you can navigate through the entire book by clicking on hyperlinks, or search for specific words or braille signs. You can click on any music symbol or braille sign and a window will pop up to explain what it means. And you can listen to audio playback of each musical example.

    The music braille code book for the U.S. and Canada, formerly called the Manual of Braille Music Notation, American Edition, 1988 has been updated by the Braille Authority of North America to conform to the new international standard. The new manual is now called Music Braille Code 1997 (1997, 362 pages), and is available in print ($45) and braille in 5 volumes ($45).

  5. Braille Sheet Music

    We publish and sell braille editions of pop music from Hal Leonard Corp., the world's largest print music publishing company. We currently offer 25 individual sheet music pieces, consisting of the piano vocal guitar (pvg), easy piano (ep), or piano solo (ps) versions of the following songs:

    1. Forrest Gump Main Title (Feather Theme): ep, ps
    2. Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis): pvg
    3. Heart and Soul: pvg, ep, ps
    4. Imagine (John Lennon): pvg, ep, ps
    5. Memory (From 'Cats'): pvg, ep, ps
    6. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from 'Titanic'): pvg, ep, ps
    7. Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton): pvg, ep, ps
    8. Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers): pvg, ep
    9. What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong): pvg, ep, ps
    10. Yesterday (The Beatles): pvg, ep

    Each sheet music piece is available in braille ($9.95), print ($3.95), or both ($12.95). Braille music pieces can be bound individually or together, using 19-hole comb binding with plastic front and back covers, for an additional $2.00 per binding.

To Contact Us

Based in San Diego, California, Opus Technologies has been developing and selling software, print, and braille materials for learning and using music braille since 1992. Our customers include blind musicians and students, braille transcribers, parents, teachers and educators, and schools and libraries in the U.S. and around the world. Contact Opus Technologies at 13333 Thunderhead St., San Diego, CA 92129, USA, Phone/Fax: (858) 538-9401, Toll-free: (866) OPUSTEC or (866) 678-7832, email: opus@opustec.com, website: www.opustec.com.

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Last modified: March 20, 2001.

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