A talking score is a spoken version of a stave notation score which often incorporates the music in sound, either produced electronically or played live.

Talking scores may be of help for you if you struggle to read print notation or do not read braille music.

Until recently, it was necessary for someone to read the print score and play the examples onto a recording device, a process which required considerable time and expertise. Technology has opened up the possibility of generating a Talking Score automatically from an electronic music file, and this is the subject of current research and development. You can find out more by visiting the Talking Scores beta page. If you would like to be involved or kept updated with developments, please do get in touch by email to [email protected] or on 0303 123 9999.

Until an automated solution is available, the following documents from the UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF) Music Subject Area provide some background information about Talking Scores and guidelines for producers and users. There is a case study of one user which we hope will provide some inspiration and encouragement if you think that Talking Scores might be an option for you.

The following document gives more detail about the music subject area of UKAAF and its work with talking scores. It also includes an account from an experienced user of talking scores.

The following document offers advice for producers and users of Talking Scores. We hope to expand and revise this document based on user experience.

Please do get in touch if you are interested in helping us in our work with Talking Scores or if you wish to find out more.

Learning to play by ear

Learning to play by ear can be very rewarding and a great option if sight difficulties mean that you are struggling to read your music. However, if you are used to reading from music, it can be a challenge to develop the confidence and skills required.