Network for Inclusive Distance Education


Synchronous Communication Tools

CSS Generator
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:

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.

Additional information:

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: