The Japan Association of Braille Music Users
If persons with a visual impairment want to study music as a hobby or for a professional purpose, it is essential for them to use braille music.
However, its availability is strictly limited, and individuals can only obtain braille music scores from either a paid or free transcription service.
Some braille libraries in Europe or America act as a liaison between such transcription services and braille music users, but in Japan users depend on volunteer groups for the transcription of music scores on a private basis.
Upon learning of this situation, Her Imperial Majesty kindly offered an imperial donation in 2005 to be used for the sharing of braille music. It was with this fund that the Japan Association of Braille Music Users was established.
The steering committee of the association is responsible for project planning and implementation. The committee consists of leaders from organizations that promotes welfare for the blind, musicians with a visual impairment, experts in the field of braille music, and teachers involved in braille music literacy. Among the supporting members are braille music users, transcription volunteers (both groups and individuals), and members of institutions for persons with a visual impairment.
The main purpose of the association is to compile a list of braille music scores that were transcribed by many volunteer groups in Japan, and to set up a system whereby users can share scores that were originally produced for a specific person.
The association also plans to provide an opportunity for separate volunteer groups to interact, and to offer training for transcribers of braille music.
However, as membership fees and donations are its only financial sources, what this association can accomplish may be limited. It is my hope that this website will become a useful resource for the sharing of information among its members. Additionally, information will be made available to people outside the association so that they can learn more about our activities.
I appreciate your understanding and support for braille music and our Association.
A complete list of braille music scores is available on this website (currently in Japanese only).
The secretariat of The Japan Association of Braille Music Users is based at the Japan Braille Library in Tokyo.22