Chucked Braille

Michaella Moon

Chucked Braille is a New Interfaces for Musical Expression that uses the braille alphabet with a keyboard input. This NIME is built with Processing and ChucK.

CHUCKED BRAILLE takes the braille alphabet system and converts it to musical notes. The braille alphabet consists of 6 dot that are raised, or in this case, selected, to form a pattern that is linked to the corresponding letter. Although there is already a system for braille music, I have developed a new system to play any note in the C4 chromatic scale. I made this interface so anyone would be able to learn and play. It uses the (S,D,F,J,K,L) keys from the standard qwerty keyboard. Keys (F) and (J) controls the first row of braille dots. Keys (D) and (K) controls the second row and the (S, L) keys control the last row of the braille system. The braille alphabet A-J mainly uses the top four dots therefore the (S) and (L) keys were free to control other parameters of the notes, like adding #. This was actually very beneficial for this interface. It freed up space for extra controls without needing to enter more than one pattern to produce a specific note. The braille system for a Capital letter is a single dot on the right of the last row. I found it very intuitive to connect a # note (a slightly raised note) with lowercase(for naturals) and UPPERCASE (for #). This interface will not only be an interesting instrument, it also will help the user to learn, study and practice the braille alphabet in a fun and aural way! Because the rest of the braille alphabet is based on the first 7 letters/pattern, learning the first 7 letters will help with familiarizing themselves with this interesting language.