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Music is an essential part of life for many, learn about the ways music can be more accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

Our Music Advisory Service (MAS) supports people with sight loss in any aspect of making music.

If you'd like further information, or have a specific query, please get in touch:

Music Transcription Service

The Music Transcription Service can convert your Music print notation into Braille and Modified Stave Notation.

Our highly skilled team of transcribers have individually amassed over 20 years’ experience in turning the most complex scores into accessible outputs. We work with examining boards, schools, universities, and commercial organisations as well as individual customers to provide music for exams, study, performances or leisure. We can also offer a modification service for examinations and deliver a braille music training course for individuals.

Our service is ISO 9001, 22301 and 27001 accredited. For more information or enquiries please email [email protected].

ABRSM Braille Exam pieces for piano and flute

ABRSM offers braille files for both piano and flute exam pieces. For piano players interested in taking ABRSM graded examinations, the 2017 - 2018 piano exam pieces for grades 1 and 8 are available directly from the ABRSM website, in the braille files for piano exams section.

For flute players interested in taking ABRSM graded examinations, the 2018 and 2021 exam pieces for grades 1 to 7 are available directly from the ABRSM website, in the braille files for flute exams section.

The files are in .BRF format and may be downloaded for free and embossed or read on a braille display. ABRSM also offers a wealth of information for blind and partially sighted candidates who are preparing to take their examinations.

Buying and loaning music from RNIB

We have updated our guide to buying and loaning music in accessible formats from RNIB. The guide covers Braille music, Modified Stave Notation (MSN) and audio resources, as well as music transcription from RNIB and books on music.

Music education

We provide information and offer advice on music education for blind and partially sighted musicians and those supporting them at all levels, from the earliest signs of interest to advanced studies. You can also find out about taking up music, choosing an instrument, finding a teacher, taking exams and using music technology.


We support blind and partially sighted musicians working or wishing to work in the music business through advice, information and professional development workshops.

Reading music in accessible formats

We can offer advice on producing and learning from music notation in accessible formats, including large print (Modified Stave Notation), Talking Scores and braille music. We also have suggestions for learning to play music by ear or memorising music. If you support or teach a blind musician, we also offer help in producing music in accessible formats.

For screen reader users interested in creating music scores, we're working on a series of short tutorials for using MuseScore with NVDA. You can find out about creating a new score and inputting notes using MuseScore and NVDA.

If you're interested in finding out more about this work, please email [email protected].

Partially sighted piano learners may be interested to explore the alternative Ambrose PianoTabs format for notation, designed for musicians who find it difficult to access standard print notation. The hybrid format uses the familiar noteheads from standard notation but employs an innovative stave that is based on the keyboard layout. The website includes a free library of music in this format, plus free software to create your own.

Accessible Formats in Music Education

Arts Council England are funding a short-term project between January and April 2024, which will include consultation with the music education and publishing sectors, to identify and develop strategies to improve the materials available to learners who require musical scores in alternative formats.

RNIB are looking to partner with three existing Music Educations Hubs to form a working group that will advise on key topics between 15th January 2024 and 14th April 2024. Representatives from each Hub will work collaboratively with RNIB’s Music Support Officers and other partner organisations as required.

Find out more about the project here.

Large print manuscript paper

RNIB's transcription team have created the following printable templates for large print manuscript paper. The team can also tailor a template to your needs, altering size, adding elements such as clefs and bar lines as required. Please contact: [email protected]

Music awards and funding

Our music awards and funding page has details of awards and sources of funding for blind and partially sighted children and adults wishing to further their musical career or study.

Sound Without Sight project

We are happy to be supporting the development of the Sound Without Sight project to create a knowledge hub that will become the “one front door” for information related to music and visual accessibility. The hub will collate existing resources and allow users to contribute to fill in knowledge gaps. The project also hopes to develop an active user community, showcasing blind and partially sighted musicians, their workflows, and the solutions that they have found throughout their work. Through online forums and regular remote meetups, we hope that the project will foster a supportive environment that will enable blind and partially sighted musicians to learn from their peers and develop confidently, whether that be during education, into employment, or for leisure.