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Using Bme2 lessons

How to insert notes?

When you open BME2, an empty page appears, where you can write down Braille music. However, the user must have at least the basic knowledge of the Braille music notation.
There are three possible ways of writing in Braille symbols using BME2. The one we decide on has to be selected in “options” under “keyboard” submenu. If we choose “line” option, we will use the Perkins Braille keyboard simulation. The keys f d s are corresponding to dots 1 2 3, while keys j kl – to 4 5 6 dots. All the dots in one cell should be pressed and then released simultaneously.
The “sequence” option represents the same layout of keys, however, they have to be pressed in a sequential mode - one after another. After you finish writing a character, it is necessary to press the spacebar. If we need to have a real space, e.g. to separate measures, we have to press the spacebar for the second time.
The third mode of writing Braille symbols consists in using the normal layout of the computer keyboard as we do it for word processing. In this situation a given character will represent the Braille dot combination shown on a Braille display and will be interpreted as a music symbol by the BME2. In order to use this solution you have to check “translated” in the “keyboard” submenu of “options”. Note, in this case an appropriate translation table has to be used, otherwise the Braille signs shown on a Braille display and also after exporting to TXT will not be the correct ones.
Now we can start writing notes in the sequence determined by the Braille music notation, using octave marks and separating measures with spaces.
If we want to hear the notes being written, we can check the “Play notes” function in the Options menu or simply press F4. The same key quits the “play notes” function.
It is also in “options” (Speech submenu) that you can also set the level of spoken comment perfomed by the screen reader, describing each symbol cursored. And thus if you select “Braille”, you will hear the dots of which a Braille sign consists, while selecting “Object 1” or “Object 2” you will get a symbol description at the corresponding level (1 or 2). Speech can also be switched off (by selecting “Mute”).

Now let us write Braille notes of different values to get some practice in this skill. For instance, let us start from writing the C scale in 8ths (see example 1).

Braille example 1

Note, in order to have the symbols we insert interpreted by BME as notes, it is absolutely necessary to precede them by an octave mark (4th octave, 2nd octave etc.). However, we do not have to write the clef or any previx (for the right or left hand).

Now let us write some quarters and halves (see example 2).

Braille example 2

Since we have not inserted any key signature, the tune will be written as if in C major or a minor. We can certainly put sharps, flats and naturals before different notes and listen to the effect (see example 3).

Braille example 3

You should remember to put the octave marks wherever necessary. BME “knows” the rules of putting octave marks according to the Braille music notation, which we can easily verify when listening to the notes being inserted (see example 4).

Braille example 4

Did you manage to write a simple tune?
If you want to listen to the whole tune, you have to use the “Play” function by pressing ctrl+B followed by the space.

You will frequently find it necessary to adapt the tempo to your requirements. After pressing ctrl+B you will enter “midi player). Using Tab you will reach the tempo indication (default 120 quarters per minute). Now you can adjust the tempo going up or down with the arrow key and confirm the selected value by “enter”. You can also write in the required value having previously deleted the one which was there. This parameter will be saved for a given piece as soon as we save the BMML file.
Note! Changing the tempo in this way is only possible if the item “Play tempo changes” in the “Midi player” menu remains unchecked. If it is checked, the music is played according to the metronome indications if inserted. However, please note that you can only insert a metronome indication outside the part; you will not be able to write it after the part prefix or part name. You can select the “Metronome” item in the Insert menu, alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+M (or M when Line keyboard has been selected).

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