No-C-Notes now in its 30th year of providing audio described music score
Speak the Music! Never read music again! No-C-Notes® is an easy and cost-effective way of using music notation. Used by the singer, songwriter, teacher or instrumentalist who wants their sheet music spoken and not written. There is no need to learn clefs, staffs, ledger lines, note heads and flags and other visual sheet music notation as this method reads the actual tone and timing without having to know its placement on paper. No-C-Notes is a music notation reading method giving tones and timing shorthand names, and a format for how the sheet music should be read. Whether used for voice, or keyboards, guitar, strings or woodwinds, it gives musicians a common verbal language of communicating their music score to one another. Musicians listen to their sheet music being read verbally in the same manner as you would use an audio book. Readings are saved in any preferred audio format, such as MP3 or CDs.
Try it Out!
No-C-Notes sample reading of piano JS Bach Minuet No. 1
No-C-Notes sample lead sheet reading of Auld Lang Syne
No-C-Notes sample reading of violin Frere Jacques
History of No-C-Notes
Verbally reading music note by note is nothing new. Many piano teachers of visually challenged students have their own way of naming tones and timing while repeatedly playing a piece for memorization for their students. Currently there is no common audio music reading method being used in the United States and no audio music scores to purchase or borrow outside of No-C-Notes. England’s RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) has Talking Scores, and the Netherlands’ FNB has Spoken Music offered through their loan services for the blind. The U.S. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has an excellent collection of Braille music scores and large-print sheet music….but nothing to “read” verbally the music score as it is written.
By the early 1990’s Christina started to use email and the Internet for research on audio reading methods by joining newsgroups for the handicapped, researching with blind musicians, agencies, schools, music therapists, teachers and parents of blind children. After developing a demo cassette it was offered to anyone who wanted to try audio music reading and to give feedback on the developing method. By 1995 the first No-C-Notes Instructional Cassette was published and Christina was accepting transcription orders nationwide. The terminology still applies today, even more so. In giving tones names, No-C-Notes adapted the piano keyboard for numbering. It is now the standard for midi definitions. For example; the tone “middle C” is C4, which is the fourth C tone on the piano going from the lowest tone up and is now the definition of the midi tone.
For the first two decades of No-C-Notes, sheet music has been read on an audio cassette player for the blind, index tones were used to identify the beginning and ending of song phrases so the musician could rewind or fast-forward to find their place on the tape. Now, music can be produced electronically with readings and saved in MP3 format for download. This method can be used for music score for vocal or any instrument with the exception of percussion.
Publishers, Teachers and Musicians
No-C-Notes® is becoming recognized as the standard for audio music score now available for licensing for your needs.
- Publishers – just as with audio books, audio described music score can bring your sheet music to a broader market. Licensing and consulting available.
- Teachers – bring a more accessible method of music reading to your classroom and lessons by using No-C-Notes.
- Musicians – whether used for your own compositions or reading music score, No-C-Notes provides a common and easy to use language of music notes.