This New International Manual of Braille Music Notation is the result of many years of consultations within the Subcommittee on Braille Music Notation, World Blind Union (WBU).
It is continuing the series of manuals published after the conferences of Cologne, 1888, and Paris, 1929 and 1954. This new manual summarizes the resolutions and decisions of the WBU subcommitteeÕs conferences and workshops held between 1982 and 1994. Unification was reached above all in the following areas: clef signs, figured bass, guitar music, chord symbols, modern music and many other single signs. This manual also contains material of eastern European countries that were not present at the conference of 1954. It benefits in several details from manuals published in Moscow in the seventies and eighties.
Important discussions took place at the conferences of Moscow, 1982, (where Dr. Jan Drtina was elected Chairman); Prague, 1985; Marburg (Germany), 1987; and Saanen (Switzerland), 1992. All signs and rules compiled in this manual were adopted by the delegates of the Saanen Conference, mostly by a large majority. Voting delegates to this conference are listed below.
We are most grateful that Bettye Krolick was willing to compile the new manual and in the same year sent a first draft to members of the committee. Critical and constructive comments were gathered and presented to the experts in a second draft. This corrected version was unanimously verified and was the basis for the final work. Most all of the delegates contributed suggestions and/or material for the final version.
An editorial group consisting of Vera Wessels (Netherlands), David McCann (United Kingdom), Leif Haal (Denmark), and Ulrich Mayer-Uhma (Germany) helped finish the book.
But it was Bettye Krolick who did the main work. Thanks to her highly qualified competence, she showed perseverance where the process seemed to stop and conciliation where diverging opinions collided. I want to express my most grateful thank you to her.
Likewise I thank the SVB in Amsterdam for publishing and distributing the print edition and the SBS in Zrich for printing and distributing the braille edition, giving the blind user the possibility to study the material carefully.
We all hope that the signs and rules listed in this book, according to our majority agreements, will be rigorously used in braille music publications. Therefore, we ask the different countries to provide translations into their native language and to use it for future music publications. In cases of doubt, the original English version has the status of major authority. This is the only way to realize the goal of the delegates to improve the exchange of braille music publications between countries.
As with most agreements, results could not be reached without compromises. We are aware that some traditional signs of one country or the other were not accepted in the voting. We ask the responsible experts to respect the new decisions, even if they concern signs and rules which are not yet familiar to them.
This manual does not include ethnic music from Africa and Asia. The experts of these regions are asked to consider providing signs for the printed music of native instruments not yet covered in braille music.
With this manual the work on unification of Braille Music Notation can not be at its end. It will be our future task to reach decisions on formats and specific signs for special cases. We will be grateful for all proposals coming from blind musicians, transcribers and other experts.
Meanwhile we wish that the use of this book will be wide spread. We thank all participants of the former conferences for their good cooperation and ask them to join the future work in this field.
Subcommittee on Braille Music Notation, WBU,
Ulrich Mayer-Uhma, Chairman.
Official Delegates to the Saanen Conference
Feb. 23-29, 1992
Australia Tom Macmahon
Czech Republic Dr. Jan Drtina
Denmark Erik Ki¿rbye
Finland Paavo Konttajrvi
France Louis Ciccone
Germany Ulrich Mayer-Uhma
Italy Giulio Locatello
Japan Toshikazu Kato
The Netherlands Vera Wessels
North America Bettye Krolick
Poland Andrzej Galbarski
Russia Gleb A. Smirnov
Spain Juan Aller Perez
Switzerland Christian Waldvogel
United Kingdom David McCann