accessibility features

• Jul 15, 2021 - 08:58

I am contacting you to request information about the accessibility features for the visually impaired of your notation software.
The information you may provide in regards to my research, will be used to provide academical information in my PHD dissertation on blind musicians’ access to music notation, both to compose and review scores which are especially in the modern style that have been composed from 1945 to the present.
It is initially important for me to receive reasons from you if any, some or all of the features of your product are unavailable for the visually impaired users and the details for that.
Thank you very much for your prospective contribution and collaboration in advance.

Çağlar Arsu
Istanbul Technical University


MuseScore has perhaps the best accessibility story of any of the major notation programs (Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, MuseScore), even rivaling that of specialized programs like Lime Aloud. But of course, there is always room for improvement, and we continue to do so.

The document listed above does indeed give the details on how to use many of the various features, especially those relating to keyboard and screen reader support. But maybe you'd like to start with a broader overview. MuseScore has a number of features relating to accessibility, that fall into a few main areas:

Modified Stave Notation

MuseScore provides a whole bunch of settings that can be used to customize the appearance of print scores for the visually impaired. Not just to make the print larger, but to customize spacing, line thickness, and more, in accordance with recommendations given for Modified Stave Notation by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

User Interface Customization

MuseScore allows you to customize the sizes and colors of most user interface elements to make it easier to use by people with low vision. And work is currently progressing to provide further controls in MuseScore 4.

Screen Reader Support

Almost all controls and elements of the score announce themselves via supported screen readers, including NVDA, JAWS, and Orca. Others like VoiceOver and Narrator don't announce all score elements by default, but they can be made to do so, by pressing an appropriate shortcut to read the current object. Work is progressing to support those screen readers more fully in MuseScore 4.

Keyboard Navigation

Virtually the entire user interface is operable via keyboard control only, and the score can also be navigated in this fashion. Here again, work is underway to improve this further for MuseScore 4.


MuseScore currently has no direct Braille support, but we've worked closely with the DAISY project to optimize our MusicXML import and export facilities to work well with the tools they use in transcribing music to Braille. Right now there is an experimental limited Braille export facility working in development versions of MuseScore 4, that initial reports suggest works at least as well as some of the MusicXML-to-Braille converters out there.

In reply to by CaglarArsu

We have quite a few blind users creating sophisticated scores. There aren't really many limits on what is possible, but I will say, while you can enter the notes and markings and have everything sound correctly, there are some things regarding page layout - getting everything to look good on the printed page in terms of spacing and so forth - they typically does require the aid of a sighted person. MuseScore tries to create a reasonable layout by default, but realistically, for truly professional results, you'll need the eyes and hand of a skilled engraver to help with making manual adjustments and so forth.

Hi @CaglarArsu,

Marc and Jojo have provided you with good resources about existing accessibility features.

I see you also want to know about things that are not yet accessible. There is a list of these things in #277496: [EPIC] Accessibility issues/suggestions, but please note that you need to be signed-in on the website to see the list otherwise the relevant part of the page will appear empty.

You may also like to watch a presentation about Accessibility in MuseScore that Marc and I did at FOSDEM last year:


In reply to by shoogle

Dear Shoogle,
Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time and providing me with very useful information.
I am a Blind contemporary music composer and I have suffered from the accessible music notation software’s since my undergrad education back in 1999 in Cambridge Massachusetts. during that time the first accessible notation software was Sibelius three with Jaws with the help of some special scripts. later on Lime by Dancing Dots came on the stage. I have never been so happy with that software or I couldn’t figure out how to get the best out of it. now I am pursuing my PhD studies focusing on the accessible notation software for the blind. it seems like Muse Scoore seems like the best one that is also opened to be improved as it is an open source software. I am planning to take Muse Score analysis in the center of my dissertation focusing on the capabilities and needed new features for the software for both music education and sheet music production of the blind users.
I need to be able to reach out to all the blind users to be able to gather statistical information of their experience with the software By placing a survey as a research method. where would you recommend me to begin with? my university is very supportive to improve the software for the blind users use.
Which screen reader do you use with Use Scoore?
Thank you so much for your answer in advance
Kind regards

In reply to by CaglarArsu

@CaglarArsu, I'm glad that you found MuseScore to be a good option for you in terms of accessibility.

> I need to be able to reach out to all the blind users to be able to gather statistical information of their experience with the software By placing a survey as a research method. where would you recommend me to begin with?

I recommend that you create your survey (e.g. in Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or something else) then post a link to it here on the MuseScore forums where users can see it (I suggest creating a new post for it in the General Discussion forum). If the questions seem reasonable then we may be able to help direct a bit of traffic your way.

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