accessible Musescore for blind

• Nov 23, 2019 - 15:21

I.m blind user of Musescore. I can use only version 2. I can read, write sscores. there is some things which i cannot use. for example. pallettes. My screnreader don read all what is on pallete so I can not choose dynamic, key signature, fingers, articulations, melodic ornaments, pedals. I need to some crate pluggin or some key strokes for it because I cannot use mouse only keyboard, so I need some advice of you what to do or what could to make it for blind users. The most problem is if I want to create a new score and choose key signature, I must write all in c and if I finish my score I must controll every tones if it is right for right B or +. Problem is also with transposition because settings offers only chromatic and if I choose diatonic, program wil not remember it. so if musicians reads scores they can read double + or b or b and +. It is needen for me because I.m writing compositions not only for piano but for brass and other instruments with different tuning. Other probl
em is if I add text. it would be good if I.m writing text Musescore could to play tones because then I.m making some mistake. this work is very complicated because if I.m adding text, I will chose one tones, then I choose ctrl l and I.m write something, then I must again go aut from text editor and choose again tone and do the same. I thanks for accesibility for us but it would be good to make all functions with using keyboard. Please for some advice or how to do or who could work with it for us. Thanks. Viera


In reply to by vieruskavieruska

NVDA didn't work well with earlier MuseScore 3 releases, but 3.3 changes all that - it is by far the most accessible version of MuseScore ever. Now only are the palettes accessible for the first time, but also, you can navigate using Alt+Left/Right through almost every element of the score and hear them all read one at a time. I recommend you update to MuseScore 3.3 and read about how to take advantage of its powerful new accessibility features here: Also check out the demo I made:

There is a lot of work being done as I type this by a couple of programmers to greatly improve the interface for blind users. This is expected to be a very important improvement in the upcoming 3.3.3 release. Palette use is expected to be the biggest improvement for blind users.

In reply to by mike320

While it is true that work continues, the palettes in 3.3 are already accessible. What may change for 3.3.3 (and if not then, probably for 3.4) are some of the specifics - when exactly you use tab versus right arrow versus down arrow, etc. So it will hopefully get more efficient and more intuitive for people accustomed to "treeview" navigation. But again, for 3.3, it already works.

By the way, when writing for transposing instruments, MuseScore handles all that automatically - you don't need to use the manual transposition commands. Those are meant for other purposes - for actually changing the sounding pitches. For more information on how to work with transposition in MuseScore, see…

As of MuseScore 3.3, I think everything you described is now fully accessible. There is a glitch in the key signature selector in the Create New Score wizard so it doesn't read the keys as you navigate unless you also press NVDA+L, but it does still work, and adding a key signature later using the palettes works also.

Here is another video you might find interesting, we just made this a few days ago. It features me working with a blind student in my music theory course at a university where I teach:

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I use automatic transposition, but the first I.m writing something for example in C and saxophone play in a, I choose from menu concert tuning is not check and musescore add b and + or double + so transposition is not good because musicians do mistake if they see not c but b with +. and thanks for experience. but now I dont know if to instal Musescore 3.3 or 3.3,2 or 3.3,3 or other new version. it would be good have some list of new keystrokes for new version Musescore

In reply to by vieruskavieruska

If you write something in C and then set the instrument to alto saxophone, it transposes to the key of A automatically and spells everything correctly by default. If you write D sharp in the key of C, it's definitely correct for that to be transposed as B sharp in the key of A, and changing this to C does not normally make it easier to read. on the contrary, it makes it harder in many cases, because it changes the normal arrangement of lines and spaces that sighted musicians rely on when reading standard notation. For instance, in the key of C, a D sharp might happen because there is a B major chord: B, D sharp, F sharp. That is normally written space-space-space or line-line-line depending on which octave you are in. When you transpose to the key of A, that same chord is G sharp major, and it is very important to spell it G sharp, B sharp, D sharp and now G sharp, C, D sharp because the the correct spelling is still line-line-line or space-space-space, but the incorrect will be uneven and won't look like a triad, leading to errors in reading.

Again, though, you should not be using a menu to transpose for alto saxophone. You should rely on the fact that MuseScore does this automatically when you toggle the Concert Pitch button. Assuming you created the score for alto saxophone in the first place, you write the pitch as you want it to sound, with Concert Pitch on. Then when you are ready to print, just turn Concert Pitch off and the transposition happens automatically.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I tested a new Musescore 3.3.2 on two laptop. One with processor I3 and the second with with intel 7. I have Musescore 2 and new version but if Im working with 3, it run only 3. The first laptop with I3 has a problem with Musescore 3.3.2 if I.m writing scores. Musescore dont responding. Laptop with I7 has a problem if I.m working with pallette the software write Musescore crasch report. So Icanno work with new version. And also one question, how to work with pallette? I choose shift f9 or f9 and I will find with keyboard forexampple fingers. I will choose tab and I choose the first finger. Then add enter. But nothing happen. It is needed to choose some score and then to choose pallette and fingers? Sometimes It is not practic choose one tone, then choose pallette and again do the same. Problem is also with other items on pallete. So what to add? Thanks for solving the first and the second problem.

In reply to by vieruskavieruska

Can you explain the problem you are having in more detail? MuseScore 3.3, again, is by far the most accessible version of MuseScore ever, it's being used successfully by blind musicians on a daily basis. So let's figure out what the problem is on your particular system so you can start using it!

One thing I can tell you is that due to a bug in the Qt libraries we depend on, the current version of MuseScore 3.3 will crash on palette search if NVDA is running. So that much we know isn't working. But you no longer need to rely on search to use the palettes - they are fully accessible by cursor keys, tab, etc.

As for how to use the palette: first select a note in your score, then use the palette to find the element you want to add, then press Enter. The palette element is added to the selected note in your score. it may be necessary to then hit press Alt twice to wake NVDA up.

For fingering, though, it can be easier to use the menu - Add / Text / Fingering. Then you can type a fingering, press Space to move to the next note, type another fingering, press Space again, etc - it's extremely fast to enter lots of fingerings.

See for much more information on how to take advantage of the accessibility features in MsueScore 3.3

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I tried change shortcut. I adden a new shortcut for tuning. If I added it, Musescore writing crash reports. Also problem is with pallette but I try your advice with searching. I hope that this problem you will solve in future version. and I have also other problems. How to delete text in staff line or if I.m writing fingers. If I do some mistake and I want to delete, how to do? If I add lyric there is simple because i select some words - shift +arrow up and then ctrl +delete but thiss possibility cannot use for text on staffline

In reply to by vieruskavieruska

Can you give us precise steps to reproduce the crash you are seeing? I am unable to reproduce a problem with shortcuts.

I'm not sure what you mean about "text in staff line", but to delete anything in MuseScore, you select it and press Delete. Prior to MuseScore 3, there was no way to select a text element, but now Alt+Left/Right give you full access to virtually every element in your score, so you can delete anything at any time.

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