The Talking Scores project is a free, open-source website that converts MusicXML files into Talking Scores. Users can upload their own files or a URL link to the website, and the website will generate a new webpage with a text version of the score which can then be accessed via a screen reader, along with a playable midi version of the notes. At present, the software is best suited to simple piano scores, but the software is still in development and the creators actively welcome user feedback. For more information visit: www.talkingscores.org
Talking scores can make reading music scores easier for blind and partially sighted people.
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, Talking Scores were created by recording a narrator who would read the score aloud, along with recorded examples of the music. This was an expensive and time-consuming process. New technology has opened the possibility of quickly generating a Talking Score from an electronic music file, and this is the subject of current research and development.
Some blind and visually impaired musicians use screen readers along with music notation software to hear data from musical scores read aloud.
MuseScore is a free composition and notation tool that is compatible with some screen readers. MuseScore has a large online library of scores created by users, including original compositions and many musical works in the public domain. Once the score has been downloaded, it can be opened in MuseScore and accessed using NVDA, JAWS or Orca. A new version of MuseScore is due to be released next year, and will include support for VoiceOver.
This video demonstrates how to use MuseScore with the NVDA screen reader.
For more information about MuseScore visit their website.