Custom Scores

Examples of customised music
Custom-designed scores, may extend performance opportunities to those who would otherwise be excluded.

Alternative Notations

One of the simplest ways of widening accessibility is to add letter names, or sol-fa syllables to conventional notation. Whilst this practice would generally be undesirable for use in the instrumental lesson, as it is likely to inhibit the speedy acquisition of sight-reading skills, it may be appropriate in the group performance situation. In the latter, a more pressing objective on the part of the teacher is to secure the involvement of all pupils, without detriment to the performance of others.

Letter names can be added to conventional notation or can replace it. The relative size and dominance of the respective notations can be easily changed.


Tonic Solfa

It's surprising the number of people whose elementary music education has been tonic sol-fa based, without reference to standard notation. Tonic sol-fa is, deservedly, making a come-back in UK music education and some pupils seem to find it easier to learn than conventional music notation. The author has experienced some success with this, multi-sensory, system in teaching pupils with learning difficulties

tonic sol-fa.pdf

Visual Impairment

Partially-sighted people are, by no means, an homogeneous group. Whilst enlarging music may improve matters for some, for others it will only magnify their difficulties. One must also take into account the amount of glare from the score, the density of fonts, the relative position of objects, their definition and separation, the angle at which the score is viewed, and many other matters. Two of the examples included here were prepared for an experienced reader of music notation who had developed macular disease. She found that large letter names added to a 1-line stave (which gave some indication of comparative register) was most helpful for her.

scores for partially sighted readers

large stave, normal stems

large stave, denser stems

denser stems, thicker barlines

thicker lines and stems, thicker barlines

macular disease, solution 1

macular disease, solution 2

Switch Users

A resource allowing quick editing and annotation of a score greatly facilitates the provision of tailored parts for players with severe physical disabilities. These players need parts which engage their interest by involving them at key points in the arrangement, whilst being planned with great economy of movement.


And, in this Bach's Wake, Awake! a switch-use adds an effective 2-note 'tubular bell' part. this could also be shared by two switch users or handbell players: Listen