[sib-access] Re: Advice wanted - how to learn new pieces - Sibelius, Lime Aloud or something else?

  • From: "Chris Google Goodwin" <cands.goodwin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <sib-access@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 21:50:17 -0000

Dan and all,

About two or three years ago I had this idea of writing a program to read 
MIDI files to allow me to travel along the score left and right, and up and 
down the notes at each time position.   I wrote it in Visual Basic 6 taking 
many months and late nights, but it actually does the job.  Its as flakey a 
program as you've ever seen, and isn't suitable for general use.  But I did 
learn a number of pieces of music with it after downloading the MIDI file 
from the internet.  Limitations though made me stop using it.

Before I stopped using it though I made contact with the RNIB Music 
Transcription Service (MTS).  I spoke to a lady there who said she'd be 
happy to transcribe a few pieces and send me the MIDI files.  I scanned in 
the sheet music and emailed it to her.

The RNIB MTS takes sheet music, manually put it into Sibelius, and then 
enhance the score for visually impaired musicians.  They often enlarge the 
font, or use colours as people request.  Exporting to MIDI was a simple but 
new step for them.  Its a free service too.

I also know that they store everything they transcribe.  They must have 
quite an archive of sheet music in SIB format.  What I don't know is whether 
there are restrictions on distribution.  The music is usually copyright 
after all.

A major reason I'm interested in using Sibelius instead of Lime Aloud is 
that if the MTS use Sibelius, they could easily email me the SIB format file 
they produce.  Whereas the MIDI files hold just the notes, the SIB files 
will hold all the information - all annotations and additional info on the 
sheet music e.g. fret, bowand fingering instructions.

So, the internet is a great source of MIDI files, and there are a number of 
sites with a large number of quality files.  And if you need a specific 
piece, with all the info and not just the notes, services like the RNIB MTS 
mean you can get it in SIB format (I hope).  I wonder if other organisations 
around the world have a similar service.

If people are interested I'll try and find out the following things:

1. Is the RNIB MTS happy to send out SIB files.
2. Is the archive of what they've done so far available for others to use?
3. Who is eligible to use the service e.g. non-UK residents.
4. Are there other similar services in other countries?

Here is a link to the RNIB music resource page, which has a short section on 
the transcription centre (its the South West one):



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