New International Manual
of Braille Music Notation



  • Preface
  • Compiler's Notes

  • Purpose and General Principles
  • Basic Signs
  • Clefs
  • Accidentals
  • Rhythmic Groups
  • Chords
  • Slurs and Ties
  • Tremelos
  • Fingering
  • Bar Lines and Repeats
  • Nuances
  • Ornaments
  • Theory
  • Modern Notation

  • General Organization
  • Key& Time Signatures
  • Rhythmic Groups
  • Chords
  • Slurs and Ties
  • Tremelos
  • Fingering
  • Bar Lines and Repeats
  • Nuances
  • Ornaments
  • Theory
  • Modern Notation

  • General Organization
  • Keyboard Music
  • Vocal Music
  • String Instruments
  • Wind and Percussion Instruments
  • Accordian
  • Instrumental Scores

  • Authorities for this work
  • National Signs of 16 Countries
  • Index of Signs in Standard Braille Order
  • Tables of Signs

    Other Resources
  • Contact instructor
  • Send mail to class
  • Main BRL page
  • Contractions Lookup
  • Contractions List
  • Intro Braille course
  • Transcribers course
  • Specialized Codes course



    (Table 19)

    Signs from Table 19 A.

    Prefix for accordion music

    Rows of buttons

    First row - dash below the note (contra-bass notes)

    Second row - no indication (bass notes)

    Third row - 1 or M (major chords)

    Fourth row - 2 or m (minor chords)

    Fifth row - 3, S or 7 (seventh chords)

    Sixth row - 4 or d (diminished chords)

    Seventh row - (varying indications)

    Eighth row - (varying indications)

    Row zero - (varying indications)

    19-1. The accordion signs apply only when the prefix ,> is used for the left hand part of the music1.

    19-2. In print, the bass notes (first 2 rows of buttons) are usually written in the lower part of the staff with stems going up. Notes representing chords (remaining rows) occur in the upper part of the staff with stems going down. Octave marks are unnecessary, so these signs are used to number the rows of buttons. A row sign remains in effect until a new row sign appears.

    19-3. The signs for rows of buttons precede the notes immediately and must not be separated from them by any other signs. A few countries place the row sign before an intervening accidental instead of before the note itself.

    Example 19-3.

    More signs from Table 19 A.

    Draw (V pointing left)

    Push (V pointing right)

    Cesur (neither draw nor push)

    Bass solo (B.S.)


    Without Register (use printed initials)

    19-4. Abbreviations are placed in the accordion part unspaced. The print initials should be used, and the abbreviations are followed by dot 3. For example:

    S.R. (for "senza registro") 19-5. Fingering is included in the following bass solo.

    Example 19-5.

    19-6. The registration information from the circular symbols (see Table 19 B) must be followed by dot 3 and placed in the accordion part without spaces. A space is necessary before the registration only when it follows a time signature. Example 19-6.

    #1 1-4 19-7. If registration symbols other than those in Table 19 B. appear, a note of explanation should be added. If the print registration is numbered, the print order must be followed in braille. When the registration circle has three cross-lines (as in Example 19-6), a dot in the top section represents 2 ft.

    19-8. If there is fingering for both piano accordion and button accordion, the fingering for piano accordion must be written first in the braille. A transcriber's note should record that fact.

    19-9. When notes for chords stand over basses of identical time value, being played simultaneously with them, these chord notes can be written as intervals preceded by the row signs. In this case each row sign applies to one interval only.

    Example 19-9. 19-10. Intervals may be doubled, but the doubling must be broken before a change of row.

    Example 19-10. 19-11. When there is a change from normal chord accordion to melody bass, the sign for left hand, _>, is inserted, the letters "BAR", or other print indications are included, and octave signs are used. When the prefix ,> reappears, it indicates the return to chord accordion with row signs.

    Example 19-11. 19-12. The right hand part is written as in other keyboard music. The signs for draw and push are placed in this part and do not require an octave mark for the next note.

    Example 19-12.

    Developed by
    Shodor logoThe Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.

    Copyright © 1999 the
    North Carolina Central University
    and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind

    Copyright © 1999 The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.