Musescore with NVDA

• Aug 5, 2016 - 00:00

I applaud the efforts of the developers for making the effort to make MuseScore accessible to blind musicians, and am currently downloading nightly builds with the aim of helping where I can. I hope that my observations won't be seen as negative, as my aim is to help progress, and to give the developers an idea of how we "see" things. The following observations may be of use:
When generating a new score, adding title, subtitle, composer, and copyright all works fine. The problems start in the Template Selection. Things become a bit vague, and sometimes theselected item loses focus, and I'm tabbing around in no man's land. I do however succeed in selecting my template of choice, and move on to entering key and time signatures.
Time signature is fine, and is expressed exactly as I'd expect. The time signature however is a problem, but maybe there's a way to do that once you've entered the number of initial bars, and actually started writing the score. On the other side:
The braille display I'm using focusses on the note you've just entered, which I personally find extremely useful. I'd like to find a way to either display or hear vertically alligned notes.
This has been a long post, and many thanks to those who have read it through it. Please let me know of any future changes which may solve these problems, and I'll be happy to test them out on the relevant nightly build.


Thanks for your comments! We definitely worked to make MuseScore more accessible for 2.0 than in previous releases, but to be honest, most of the work was focused on using MuseScore as a score *reader* rather than a score *editor*, as we know all too well that we have a long way to go with respect to actually editing a score without visual feedback or use of a mouse.

I assume when you wrote "the time signature however is a problem", you really meant the *key* signature is a problem. That is one of the areas we know needs work. It uses the same basic UI as the palettes, which is not accessible at all right now. We do have some ideas and some prototypes but nothing yet included in the nightly builds.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, I meant key signature. Finger trouble. I have succeeded in composing something using MuseScore 2, and the latest nightly build. I like the way you have chosen to input notes, and whilst nothing speaks, I get the audio feedback from midi which is great. I'm about to try editting (correcting) an existing score to see how that goes.
More to come...

You may be interested to see all the open and closed accessibility issues in the bug tracker at…

We don't have an issue open to improve the template selection, key signature selection and master palette so feel free to submit a new issue. You will find the issue creation link at the top of the tracker.

As you may know, MuseScore is build on Qt and therefore relies on Qt for its accessibility. In less than one month, I'll be attending in Berlin, and I hope to be able to speak with Qt devs who are knowledgeable on the topic of accessibility to help us out with this particular challenge (i.e. making the palette accessible).

In reply to by Thomas

Thomas, Oddly enough, QT do make accessibility recommendations on their web site, but do not implement them in their own IDE.
Before submitting this as an issue, I'll experiment to find out whether or not there is a way to insert key signature having built the initial score. Getting lost in the instrument list is still an issue, but before submition, I need to document exactly what happens.

In reply to by HappyTenor

I don't think there is any direct way to insert a key signature without use of the mouse, but there is a tricky way. Create the score, let the key be "C", but then press F2 or Shift+F2 as many times as necessary to transpose up or down by half steps. Eg, pressing F2 twice immediately after score creation will transpose your (empty) score to D, giving you a key signature of two sharps.

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