|Physics Lab Haptic Pendulum Project||A-Prompt||Music Notation|
|Interactive Learning Tools||MathML Project|
Music Notation Project
The most common method of presenting music notation on the Internet is through PDF files or GIF images, but both of these formats are inaccessible to people with disabilities.
The University of Toronto's Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) explored two possible solutions for presenting music notation in a form accessible to all Internet users. The venture was a part of the ATRC's Network for Inclusive Distance Education (NIDE) project and was partially funded by Networks Ontario's Telecommunications Access Partnerships (TAP) program.
The ATRC team examined the possibility of integrating existing authoring tools with various music notation file formats such as NIFF (Notation Interchange File Format) and TILIA as a means of enabling educators to create accessible music curriculum.
While feasible, this strategy offers only a short-term solution and is problematic in that users must download components, purchase proprietary software, and perform a relatively complex series of steps to access the musical notation.
Project coordinators also began to explore development of an integrated group of utilities to seamlessly provide access to music notation. The components under consideration included:
- MusicML – a language for authoring and rendering music notation.
- An accessible onscreen keyboard specifically designed to produce music notation. Users would be able to create Extensible Markup Language (XML) and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) files.
- An accessible Java applet designed to render musical notation in alternative (i.e. visual, auditory, etc.) formats.
Ultimately, the team produced JScoreML, an online musical notation editor with playback and MIDI file creation capabilities. It was built as a Java applet that utilizes MusicML to describe musical scores created by composers.
While some problems regarding functionality have yet to be completely resolved, the JScoreML project did demonstrate that it was possible to create an accessible music notation tool.
- View a screen shot of JScoreML
- Requirements to run JScoreML
- Run JScoreML
- View the XML DTD
- Problems encountered in designing/programming JScoreML
- Background information on the NIDE Musical Notation project
In addition, the ATRC (in conjunction with Ryerson Polytechnic University) is working on an integrated notation editor and web site that will allow senior citizens to collect and distribute pieces of music.
The site will allow users to:
- Create new documents or edit existing ones.
- Include lyrics, digital audio recordings, music notation or MIDI files within documents.
- Input lyrics, annotations to existing lyrics, and alternatives to lyrics within the same file.
- Record a musical segment and organize the audio file sequentially with other data relating to that particular piece.
- Enter simple notation for the musical piece and display it in an accessible format.
- Create MIDI files through mechanisms such as an online interactive piano keyboard.