GOODFEEL™ Braille Music  Translator and lime Notation Editor

Price: $795.00

What is GOODFEEL?

GOODFEEL is software that automates production of braille music scores. GOODFEEL has been created to greatly increase the amount and variety of braille scores available while vastly decreasing the amount of time needed to produce them. It is not primarily a teaching tool for braille music notation. One excellent teaching tool for music braille which we list in our catalog is TACK-TILES® for Music.

 GOODFEEL will give musicians the ability to braille compositions stored as standard MIDI or Lime files. It will allow users of the Lime notation editor to prepare braille scores without necessarily knowing anything about the rules and syntax of music braille. Braille output can be sent to a standard braille printer or saved as an ASCII text file. All notation is in bar-over-bar format.

GOODFEEL runs on IBM-compatible personal computers using Windows 95 or 98. Version 2.0 converts standard MIDI and Lime's file formats into music braille.

Who Will GOODFEEL Help?

GOODFEEL shortens the time musicians have to wait to receive their braille transcriptions from 3 to 8 weeks to 3 to 8 hours or even minutes! Students and professionals who read braille music notation will appreciate GOODFEEL's conformance to the standards of braille music notation set by the Music Committee of the Braille Authority of North America. Throughout GOODFEEL's development, Dancing Dots has received guidance and support from Mrs. Bettye Krolick, BANA Music Committee member and internationally-recognized authority on braille music.
 

Who Will Use GOODFEEL?

Anyone who wants to use a personal computer to prepare a braille score will benefit from GOODFEEL. Some examples are blind students and professionals, and teachers of the visually impaired who need not necessarily be well-versed in the rules and syntax of music braille.
 

What is MIDI?

Since the early 1980's, Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) files have become a widely-accepted standard method for storing and recreating musical performances. MIDI is also the name for a communications protocol that allows one MIDI device (a keyboard or a computer with a MIDI interface) to control or play another. As a sequencer (defined below) records a performance, each note is tagged with a MIDI time stamp. In playback mode the sequencer uses these timing references to replay the notes in the correct order with proper volume and duration. An oversimplified definition of a MIDI file is: a list of start times, note names and end times. MIDI files store conventional time signatures and a constant value relating the MIDI timing reference to a quarter note. Accordingly, MIDI files can be analyzed and interpreted as notation. GOODFEEL does so.
 

What is a sequencer?

Sequencers can record and play back sequences of notes played on an electronic, MIDI-compatible, musical keyboard. Most blind musicians use software sequencers although some use "on-board" sequencers on their MIDI synthesizer keyboard. With software-based sequencers, the MIDI keyboard is attached to your computer by MIDI cables that run from the back panel of the MIDI keyboard to a MIDI interface card installed in your PC. The sequencer helps you to use your computer as though it were a multi-track tape recorder. These programs are primarily concerned with accurately recreating musical performances. However, some recent versions of sequencers offer some basic notation output. Two examples of sequencers accessible to blind users are Cakewalk from Twelve Tone Systems and Sequencer Plus from Voyetra Technologies.
 

Why transcribe MIDI files?

MIDI files can be independently created by blind users of sequencers developed for the mainstream market. On the other hand, mainstream music notation programs are not accessible to the blind. Secondly, since MIDI is an accepted standard, many compositions are already available in this format. For example, a number of MIDI libraries may be accessed via the internet. Files can be downloaded at little or no charge. With GOODFEEL, these files can be transcribed into braille music.
 

Limitations of MIDI

One significant drawback of deriving notation from MIDI files is that the MIDI standard does not provide for certain notational conventions such as articulation and dynamic markings. The published standard does permit storage of lyrics but as a matter of practice this facility is seldom used. Consequently, GOODFEEL offers the option of transcribing from a notation editor: Lime.

What is Lime?

Lime is music editor software developed at the University of Illinois. It is being used in many college-level music curriculums in the U.S. and abroad. Users of Lime can build a score by manipulating graphical musical symbols such as note heads and clef signs. The score appears on the screen in conventional notation. The work can be saved as a file which can be passed to GOODFEEL. GOODFEEL reads the file and determines the braille music equivalents. Presently, Lime cannot be used independently by a blind person. However, sighted teachers, colleagues and assistants could certainly use Lime to prepare scores to be brailled by GOODFEEL.

You can use Lime to create Lime's TILIA files for GOODFEEL to braille. Lime runs under Windows and is not accessible to the blind user. However, with Lime coupled with GOODFEEL, any sighted person can prepare a braille score without needing to know anything about braille music!

IBM-compatible personal computers with Windows 95 or 98

GOODFEEL requires a PC running Windows 95 or 98.
 

Screen Access

If you are blind you will need some type of screen access method if you want to use GOODFEEL independently. GOODFEEL has been deliberately developed to accommodate the needs of the blind user while keeping it easy to use for the sighted.
 

Braille Printers and Braille Displays

If you require a hard-copy of your music, you will need a braille printer. GOODFEEL allows you to control the line length and numbers of lines per braille page. If your system does not include a braille printer, you can review GOODFEEL's output which is always saved automatically in a standard text file with extension of .gf. Bring the file to a system that does have a braille printer and braille it there. If your system includes a paperless braille display, you can use it to review the braille score contained in this file.
 

Sequencer

If you want to create your own MIDI files you will need a sequencer program. Some sequencers are compatible with screen readers. Two examples are Cakewalk and Sequencer Plus from Voyetra Technologies. DOS versions of these programs are still available. Some vendors will provide documentation on disk for blind customers.

Lime

You can use Lime to create Lime files for GOODFEEL to braille. Lime runs under Windows 95, 98 and the Macintosh OS and is not accessible to the blind user. However, with Lime coupled with GOODFEEL, any sighted musician can prepare a braille score without needing to know anything about braille music!

Notation software that exports to MIDI

If your system already has a notation editor that can export to MIDI such as Score or Finale, you have another option to produce music braille. However, keep in mind that by exporting to MIDI, you will lose such things as dynamics and articulation marks due to the limitations of MIDI to store annotations and text information.

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