Figure 2. Super Quick Braille Primer


            Six-dot cells: top four for pitch, bottom two for rhythm. Key signature and meter are shown at top of score.
            Note equivalencies for rhythms: 1=1/16; 1/2=32nd, 1/4=64th, 1/8=128th. Gap=barline.

Additional cells necessary for (# of cells in parentheses):

Accidentals (2), Ties (2), Dynamics (2-4), Articulation (1–3), Slurs (2–3), Ornaments (1–2+)

Repeat signs (cells) used whenever possible (measure level); signs also available for diatonic transposition of motives and measures.

Multiple-part formats:

Two or more separate lines: in rough alignment, or unaligned.

Keyboard-style chords: shown by diatonic intervals above the bass (i.e. piano left hand), but below the melody (i.e piano right hand)—all from given pitch.

“In-accord” format for soprano/alto and tenor/bass format (SA/TB): here the A follows the S; the student must assemble the measure in their head or at the keyboard.

Specialized symbols available for all manner of keyboard (stemming) and string formats.

Large-scale format:

Music is best parsed into small segments (8–16 measures for single lines, 4–8 measures for multiple parts—all depending upon the skill and ability of the reader/musician).


Braille notation is distinct from Braille writing: “A[4]” ≠ “A” [tree ...].

Older scores may contain different cells and use unconventional formats.

A linear and additive system

Braille Literacy: owing to recent computer technology, as few as 20% of young blind music students now read Braille notation with any degree of fluency.