Musical information can be coded through various formats, like MusicXML the most used format in music editors or NIFF Notation, which is a graphic-oriented format for interchange between editing and scanning programmes for music in print and Midi, that stores music in terms of the notes played and the instruments on which they are played. However, none of these frequently used formats are able to code Braille music. To enhance the accessibility of Braille music, there is an urgent need to define a uniform format for Braille musical scores.
The BMML (Braille Music Mark-up Language) format, based on XML, aims at coding musical scores into Braille and complies with the NIM standards.
As Braille music data are complex, the XML text format is the most suitable to represent them. XML is not only designed to represent such a type of data, but it also allows performing conversion and exchange between musical formats. It allows users to edit Braille score thanks to the Resonare programme, but also to explore the score structure at various levels. It facilitates the integration of music on the Web through the web browsers and the BMML reader. The XML document issued from BMML schema should be read easily by the BMML Easy Reader software. We have developed the basic definition of the code using a description similar to W3C Schema. According to W3C, the code “provides a mean for defining the structure, content and semantics of XML documents”.
Basically, the BMML code aims at:
- Representing specific Braille-music information
- Displaying information of the Braille score (layout)
- Delivering standard-music information
In the same way, a Braille score is considered as a sequence of measures which are interconnected by means of measure connectors. At the same time, BMML takes into account the abbreviations used in Braille music to reduce the score size and facilitate reading and memorising processes.
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