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It’s All -gci1g (Grieg) to Me: American Braille, Part II

In Part I of this blog, I introduced the subject of American Braille, and pointed out that some NLS music scores use this system. Now, in Part II, I offer this list of American Braille symbols to help you if you ever receive such a score.

Each letter or symbol in the left column is followed by its American Braille equivalent in the right column. Where the American Braille sign is different from English Braillle, I will provide dot numbers for the American Braille sign:

Letter American Braille Dot numbers
a a
b < 1-2-6
c j 2-4-5
d d
e 1 2
f f
g g
h h
i i
j y 1-3-4-5-6
k r 1-2-3-5
l l
m m
n + 3-4-5
o e 1-5
p % 1-4-6
q q
r c 1-4
s k 1-3
t b 1-2
u u
v v
w w
x ( 1-2-3-5-6
y > 3-4-5
z ] 1-2-4-5-6


Comma 3
Semicolon ; 2-3
Colon 0 3-5-6
Capital 3-6
Period – (same as capital) 3-6
Question Mark 4 2-5-6
Exclamation Point ) 2-3-4-5-6
Dash 2-5 2-5
Parenthesis (left and right) 7 2-3-5-6
Apostrophe @ 4
Hyphen 3 2-5
Double quote (open and close) 8 2-3-6
Single Quote (open and close) 88 2-3-6 2-3-6


If you had any problems reading this, or if you know of any symbols that were incorrect, please let us know.

For now,

-I hep1 bhab bhik <leg hak <11+ h1l%ful-

(I hope that this blog has been helpful.)

It’s All -Gci1g (Grieg) to Me: American Braille, Part I

“I can’t read this braille at all,” a coworker says to me one morning; “What does it say?” Moving my hand over the dots, I am reminded of an incident from childhood. My piano teacher had just handed me Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14. I had never heard of this piece (by Mendelssohn), so I checked the […]

Braille, and Haüy, and Howe, Oh My!

The Music Section at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has the largest collection of braille music in the world, with music from numerous national and international braille producers. One of the best represented publishers in the music collection is Howe Press, a braille publisher that was the in-house braille […]