We have been working closely with our software developer, Tayfusion, and Drake Music Scotland Associate Musician Sorcha Pringle on accessibility within our software. This work has focused on using the Figurenotes notation software with screen readers.
Access to music software is extremely limited for people that use screen readers. This isn’t right, so we set out to change it. After some final testing, more musicians than ever will be able to compose, arrange, transcribe, import, export, edit, and hear playback within our Figurenotes software.
Sorcha has been working hard with Doug Mackay from Tayfusion to guide the process, thoroughly test any changes, and lend her invaluable knowledge to the development. We are very grateful for all her hard work. Sorcha is the founder of Springboard Creative Arts and we’re very proud to have her as a member of the team.
“It’s been a thoroughly fascinating process consulting on screen reader accessibility for the software. It has been great to see the software getting closer to being screen reader accessible, as well as challenging me to learn lots about software development.”Sorcha Pringle
How else is it accessible?
We aim for limited text, with symbols to help understanding. There is a standard way of using the software, with further advanced features in a separate menu for teachers or more advanced musicians. This means our software can be used by a huge range of people with different skill sets, support needs, and ways of working.
The Figurenotes notation software is available via subscription. You can access it on your web-browser (we recommend Chrome) and your work is stored in your personal library, so you can access your work anywhere there is an internet connection. Gone are the days when you’d be tied to one machine; and no more updates required, as your subscription automatically gives you access to the latest version. Need tunes offline? Just download them to your device.
You can create parts in stage 1 and 2, use a whole range of instruments including percussion, write chord or melody parts, include lyrics and text boxes – you can even upload images to help with understanding. You can now work in even more time signatures, change them mid-piece, and display more musical symbols and elements of conventional notation than ever before.
Our Figurenotes team is here to support you with anything you need. There are video tutorials available online, FAQs, and a shortcut cheat sheet. If there is anything missing that you think would help support you to access the software then please get in touch with Lauren and Rebecca at Figurenotes@DrakeMusicScotland.org or on 0131 659 4766.