RE: Music domain literature summary

To Donal

That's great info, thank you. 


Dr Scott Hollier 
Digital Access Specialist 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Dr. Donal Fitzpatrick <> 
Sent: Wednesday, 7 November 2018 4:24 PM
To: Research Questions Task Force <>
Subject: Re: Music domain literature summary

Hello Scott and all,

this is an excellent summary.  We did a paper back in 2015 which described prototype software to enable blind musicians to play in orchestras.  At the time, we could find very little that focussed on this aspect of musicianship.  Our findings from 3 years ago would mirror your comments.  what's also worth noting is that very few of the projects found in the literature, actually translated into widely-used products.

Warm regards,


> On 7 Nov 2018, at 06:19, Scott Hollier <> wrote:
> To the RQTF
> As promised, here is a summary of the music domain literature. The summary is based on the literature references that I collated and Dave put on the music domain wiki.
> To summarise:
>  • The literature is heavily focused on the accessibility of music as it relates to people with print disabilities, particularly dyslexia and vision 
>  • Dyslexia-related research tends to focus on the use of multisensory approaches combining visual and audio feedback through commercial products such as the use of an iPad with specialist apps that guide learners through music notation. This appears to have some degree of success.
>  • For vision, the research is divided between two schools of thought:
>   • How best to make Braille music accessible. The argument here is that Braille music works well but needs to be converted into an electronic mechanism  
>   • How best to move away from Braille music entirely and find a better solution  the argument here is that Braille music isn’t known by young people, takes time to convert and is expensive 
>  • In terms of converting Braille, research tends to focus more on the conversion mechanisms such as a Braille Music Mark-up Language and largely XML-based solutions. 
>  • In the case of moving away from Braille entirely, a combination of 
> haptic and audio-based solutions whereby music is scanned and 
> reproduced in small pieces of audio or haptic feedback to deliver the 
> information as required in the score
> In addition, there’s one paper which in my opinion Is a must-read for all of us and goes to the bigger picture of domain-specific guidance. The paper is:
> Power, Christopher and Jürgensen, Helmut (2010) Accessible 
> presentation of information for people with visual disabilities
> Journal: International Journal Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Pages: 97-119
> Below I’ve quoted the core summary bullet points from the paper but it reads a bit bumpy, I’m guessing due to the OCR software used to get it in the journal. The message is really good though.  
> “• Interface requirements need to be abstracted away from specific applications. Specific applications provide a means of testing the effectiveness of interface theories and designs. These applications have very specific human and technological factors which make them successful in achieving their goals. These factors need to be generalized in such a way that future research and commercial systems can include them in new applications. • Multimodal interfaces must continue to be brought to mainstream applications. While any type of provided feedback is of benefit to a user, material translated for the people with visual disabilities should use both audio and tactile output. While audio output is certainly easier to manufacture, it is too serial to communicate all information effectively. It is clear from previous examples of technology, such as the Optacon and the IVEO tablet, that devices and applications which include tactile feedback are more readily accepted by the user community. • Further work on automatic transcoding is required. There are several examples of transcoding for each type of media discussed in this paper. Transcoding, if it can be accomplished without the aid of a human assistant, provide independence for the user with a visual disability in controlling their access to information. Also, it is essential that the process be examined from the view of the document as a whole, so that one tool can render all information contained in a single document. • Further automatic and semi-automatic testing tools need to be developed. While there are many tools that provide automatic testing for accessibility on the web and in other domains, these tools address a small subset of accessibility problems. • Awareness of universal access must be increased. Tools for transcoding and verification of material will continue to be ineffective if those who are in greatest need of them are unaware of their existence. Media transcribers, developers and students all must be informed of the challenges which exist for those with disabilities, so that they can look for specific tools.
> • Involvement of the target user group must be sought at all levels of design, implementation and testing. There is a need to include the target user group at all levels of the research process. There are several examples in the literature where tools have been designed without the input of the users, and then tested without participation of that community. However, certain techniques for acquiring testing data produce accessibility concerns of their own. An example of this is the use of time diaries for people with visual disabilities, which were shown to have their own set of unique problems [4]. It is important for researchers to be aware of such problems, so that development and testing plans can be adjusted appropriately.”
> Scott
> <image001.gif>Dr Scott Hollier
> Digital Access Specialist
> Mobile: +61 (0)430 351 909
> Web:
> Technology for everyone
> Looking to upskill your staff with digital access training? Fill the room for one flat fee.
> Keep up with digital access news by following @scotthollier on Twitter and subscribing to Scott’s newsletter.


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Received on Wednesday, 7 November 2018 11:34:34 UTC