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Opus Technologies Announces OpusDots Lite Music Braille Translation Software

Opus Technologies is pleased to announce OpusDots Lite, a new software system for transcribing printed sheet music into music braille. The product is intended to be used by sighted individuals, such as parents, teachers, aides and transcribers, who know basic print music notation but may not know braille. The software uses new proprietary Scan and Click technology, which lets the user scan the printed sheet music with a scanner, then enter the musical elements by clicking over them in the scanned image. The entered music is then translated automatically into music braille.

Positioned as a low-cost entry-level product, OpusDots Lite is designed to translate only single-line music for band instruments (e.g. flute, clarinet, trumpet), orchestral instruments (e.g. violin, viola), chorus (soprano, alto, tenor or bass music line but not lyrics), and sight-reading or music theory exercises. These are the types of music most often needed in braille by blind musicians in school music programs.

OpusDots Lite requires a PC with Windows 98 or later, a scanner, and an optional embosser or refreshable braille device for braille output. The software consists of a music notation editor, a music-to-braille translator, and a braille editor, all integrated into one self-contained easy-to-use package. There is no need to learn or use third-party music entry or music notation software.

The OpusDots Lite music notation editor is specially optimized for copying musical elements from a piece of sheet music and entering them into the computer. With Scan and Click technology, the sheet music is first scanned and displayed as a black-and-white background image in a window. To enter a staff, the user moves a colored staff with the mouse until the colored staff lines match the black staff lines in the background image, then clicks. To enter a note, the user changes the cursor into a colored note with the desired time value, points this note cursor over the corresponding note in the background image until the two noteheads are aligned, then clicks. This method of music entry is intuitive, quick and accurate, and provides immediate visual feedback.

Once the musical elements have been entered, OpusDots Lite translates the music into braille in single-line format for solo instruments, using the rules of the international music braille code. OpusDots Lite currently supports entry and translation of the following musical elements: clefs, key and time signatures, notes and rests with time values from whole to 128th with up to two dots, multi-measure rests, accidentals, irregular groupings (e.g. triplets), ties and slurs, metronome markings, fingerings, text for tempo, expression and dynamics, note expressions, and barlines. The program can translate most of the examples and exercises in chapters 1 through 15 of Mary Turner De Garmo’s Introduction to Braille Music Transcription, the instruction manual for those studying to become certified music braille transcribers in the U.S.

The translated music braille is displayed in a separate braille editor window, so the user can view both the entered music notation and the translated braille at the same time. The braille editor is a full-featured editor with standard or 6-key input. It can display and print out in simulated braille or ASCII, send output to an embosser or refreshable braille device, or export braille to other braille programs.

OpusDots Lite is available for $299 plus $5 shipping and handling per U.S. order ($10 for Canada and Mexico, inquire for other countries). Software and documentation updates will be provided for free to registered users until the next major release. Contact Opus Technologies at 13333 Thunderhead St., San Diego, CA 92129, USA, Phone/Fax: (858) 538-9401, Toll-free: (866) OPUSTEC or (866) 678-7832, email: opus@opustec.com, website: www.opustec.com.

This product announcement is available as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file (13KB).