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Classical Music
Since 2003 WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies have worked together to help break the ingrained stereotypes about individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities with its week-long initiative, Dialogue on Disability. The initiative is designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities. For a listing of all special programs click here.In an effort to continue its commitment to motivate individuals to take action and to include more people with disabilities in the workplace, in schools, neighborhoods and in all aspects of society, WXXI has partnered with the Golisano Foundation in a year-round project called MOVE TO INCLUDE. Dialogue on Disability will continue to take place in January as part of this new project. Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. Dialogue on Disability is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.On Classical 91.5 we celebrate the musicians who compose and perform no matter what challenges they face. Ludwig van Beethoven, Gabriel Faure and Ralph Vaughan Williams experienced hearing loss, as does percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Hand injuries have not stopped pianists Misha Dicter, Leon Fleisher and guitarist Milos Karadaglic. Vision loss, something many of us experience as we age, did not stand in the way of composers J. S. Bach, George Frederic Handel, Joaquin Rodrigo and Franz Schubert. And the often unseen depression and mental illness impacted composers Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Modest Mussorgsky, Irving Berlin and Charles Ives, among many others. The music created by all of these individuals and many more is enjoyed every day on Classical 91.5.

Composer Joaquin Rodrigo wrote his music in braille - but what is braille music?

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http://braillebug.afb.org/music_braille.asp
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Joaquin Rodrigo was one composer who was blind, but wrote his music in braille, which was later transcribed into printed notation.  But what exactly is braille, and specifically braille music?

Braille is a method of reading and writing for people who are blind in which raised dots represent letters of the alphabet.  In Braille, each letter is represented by a particular arrangements of dots in a six-dot cell.

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Credit Royal Blind
braille alphabet

Braille was developed in the early 1800s by Frenchman Louis Braille who lost his sight in a childhood accident. Louis modified the "night writing" code that was developed by Charles Barbier, who served in Napoleon Bonaparte's French army, as a way to communicate combat messages safely during the night, without light or sound.

Literary braille used for reading and writing language has also been modified to make music accessible to people who are blind. Using the solfege system (do-re-mi-fa etc.), Braille started with the letter "D" to represent do, and continued on through the alphabet with the symbol for the letter representing a note in the scale as follows:
d=do, e=re, f=mi, g=fa, a=sol, b=la, c=ti.  Read more about the basics of musical braille.

braille_cells.png
Credit Music Theory Online
Braille cells indicating notes & duration

Other symbols are used to designate the types of notes (quarter, eighth, half, whole), rests and other musical symbols.  Braille music is written in a linear fashion and does not use a five-line staff or measure lines, as the "notes" are all written in sequence to be easily read by the braille reader.

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Credit Braille Music and More
Left page is musical braille; right page is standard notation

Here's an example of how notation is transcribed into braille.  The left page shows the braille notation and the right page shows the same piece in standard notation.