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Marking up musical notes?

On some of my pages, for example:

http://tranchant.plus.com/guitar/cho...l/music-theory

....I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this. I
guess the user would end up with "F-pound" (for US speech browsers) and
"Ebb" or something.

So, what's the best solution? I don't want to use longhand "F-sharp,
B-flat" on the page. Visual browser support for the flat (♭) and
sharp (♯) characters is not good enough for me to use those.

What I want is something like <span pronounce="E flat">Eb</span> - a way
to make the speech browser say something *instead* of the apparent
content. Any ideas?

--
Mark.
http://tranchant.plus.com/
Jul 24 '05 #1
17 12070
Els
Mark Tranchant wrote:
On some of my pages, for example:

http://tranchant.plus.com/guitar/cho...l/music-theory

...I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this. I
guess the user would end up with "F-pound" (for US speech browsers) and
"Ebb" or something.

So, what's the best solution? I don't want to use longhand "F-sharp,
B-flat" on the page. Visual browser support for the flat (♭) and
sharp (♯) characters is not good enough for me to use those.

What I want is something like <span pronounce="E flat">Eb</span> - a way
to make the speech browser say something *instead* of the apparent
content. Any ideas?


<acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?
JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
flat" afaics.

--
Els http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -
Jul 24 '05 #2
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:
<acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?
Except that it isn't an acronym, so you'd be lying in order to get the
desired effect.
JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
flat" afaics.


noted, but it still isn't an acronym.
Jul 24 '05 #3
Els
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:
<acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?


Except that it isn't an acronym, so you'd be lying in order to get the
desired effect.
JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
flat" afaics.


noted, but it still isn't an acronym.


I know - sometimes even I don't mind a little white lie <g>

I use <acronym> for abbreviations too - it's not my fault, but the
browser's ;-)

--
Els http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -
Jul 24 '05 #4
Els wrote:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:
<acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?
Except that it isn't an acronym, so you'd be lying in order to get the
desired effect. JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
flat" afaics.

noted, but it still isn't an acronym.


It *is* an abbreviation, however - can JAWS expand <abbr> in the same
way, or does it work off MSIE code?

--
Mark.
http://tranchant.plus.com/
Jul 24 '05 #5
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:
I use <acronym> for abbreviations too - it's not my fault, but the
browser's ;-)


"The browser's"? You're not confusing that operating system component
with a real web browser, surely?

Normally I'd recommend <span title="E flat">...</span> if it's neither
an acronym nor an abbreviation (which IMHO this is not), or (if it's
an abbreviation, and you want to pander to IE)

<span title="whatever"><abbr title="whatever">w/e</abbr></span>

But if, as you say, JAWS only wants to expand acronyms, and not title
attributes in general, then indeed there seems to be a dilemma.
Jul 24 '05 #6
Mark Tranchant <ma**@tranchant.plus.com> wrote:
What I want is something like <span pronounce="E flat">Eb</span> - a way
to make the speech browser say something *instead* of the apparent
content. Any ideas?


Theoretically the right way to do this:

<style type="text/css" media="aural,speech">
span.note{content:attr(title)}
</style>

<span class="note" title="E flat">Eb</span>

This would work in Opera 8 were it not for an issue whereby it doesn't
speak generated content if it's restricted to the aural/speech domain.

Practically I wouldn't bother trying to construct a solution unless it
has been established that speaking UAs are being used to access your
content. If the latter then the only cross UA solution is to replace Eb
with E Flat.

--
Spartanicus
Jul 24 '05 #7
Els
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:
I use <acronym> for abbreviations too - it's not my fault, but the
browser's ;-)
"The browser's"? You're not confusing that operating system component
with a real web browser, surely?


I'm sorry - not confused, no, just thinking the general public's
thoughts ;-)
Normally I'd recommend <span title="E flat">...</span> if it's neither
an acronym nor an abbreviation (which IMHO this is not), or (if it's
an abbreviation, and you want to pander to IE)

<span title="whatever"><abbr title="whatever">w/e</abbr></span>

But if, as you say, JAWS only wants to expand acronyms, and not title
attributes in general, then indeed there seems to be a dilemma.


It can be set to use title attributes on links and form elements, but
not in general afaics.

--
Els http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -
Jul 24 '05 #8
Els
Mark Tranchant wrote:
Els wrote:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:<acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?Except that it isn't an acronym, so you'd be lying in order to get the
desired effect.JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
flat" afaics.noted, but it still isn't an acronym.


It *is* an abbreviation, however - can JAWS expand <abbr> in the same
way, or does it work off MSIE code?


It has a setting to expand abbreviations, but I have no idea if it
uses the browser's code to detect them.
As I only have the 40 minute mode of Jaws, I'll restart my system to
check what it actually does. Back in a few mins... :-)

--
Els http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -
Jul 24 '05 #9
Els
Els wrote:
Mark Tranchant wrote:
Els wrote:
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Els wrote:

><acronym title="E flat">Eb</acronym> maybe?

Except that it isn't an acronym, so you'd be lying in order to get the
desired effect.

>JAWS screen reader can be set to 'expand acronyms', and would say "E
>flat" afaics.

noted, but it still isn't an acronym.


It *is* an abbreviation, however - can JAWS expand <abbr> in the same
way, or does it work off MSIE code?


It has a setting to expand abbreviations, but I have no idea if it
uses the browser's code to detect them.
As I only have the 40 minute mode of Jaws, I'll restart my system to
check what it actually does. Back in a few mins... :-)


Okay, right: I used IE to display the page, and Jaws read both the
<abbr> and the <acronym> in full.

I think it would be useful to have a short explanation for users of
screen readers at the top of the page, saying that they'd need to set
<abbr> to expand in the options in case they haven't yet, in order to
hear A sharp instead of A pound for musical notes.

--
Els http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -
Jul 24 '05 #10
Mark Tranchant wrote:
On some of my pages, for example:

http://tranchant.plus.com/guitar/cho...l/music-theory

...I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this. I
guess the user would end up with "F-pound" (for US speech browsers) and
"Ebb" or something.


Hmmm. Not an easy one, unless you resort to MusML (is there support for
such a thing in real life?)

How about <abbr title="F sharp">F#</abbr> ?

The title attribute is widely supported, and your use of the hash
is more-or-less an abbreviation (OK it's really a substitute).

BTW, How do 'merkins get pound out of that? I know hash shared the
shift-3 keyboard position with pound on keyboards of 20 years ago,
but there's no resemblence beyond that historical quirk.

--
Nick Kew
Jul 24 '05 #11
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Nick Kew wrote:
BTW, How do 'merkins get pound out of that? I know hash shared the
shift-3 keyboard position with pound on keyboards of 20 years ago,


It's "pound" as in pound weight, i.e a stylised rendering of "lb".
Jul 24 '05 #12
Mark Tranchant <ma**@tranchant.plus.com> wrote:
I don't want to use longhand "F-sharp,
B-flat" on the page. Visual browser support for the flat (♭)
and sharp (♯) characters is not good enough for me to use
those.


There's the (too obvious?) option of using small images, e.g.
B<img alt="-flat" src="flat.gif">
This might be a feasible alternative, despite the (obvious?)
disadvantages such as the fact that the image does not change size and
style as font size and face are changed.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 24 '05 #13
On Tue, 17 May 2005, Mark Tranchant wrote:
...I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this.


I'd expect them to whistle or sing.

Jul 24 '05 #14
In article <jm************@asgard.webthing.com>,
Nick Kew <ni**@asgard.webthing.com> wrote:
Mark Tranchant wrote:
On some of my pages, for example:

http://tranchant.plus.com/guitar/cho...l/music-theory

...I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this. I
guess the user would end up with "F-pound" (for US speech browsers) and
"Ebb" or something.


Hmmm. Not an easy one, unless you resort to MusML (is there support for
such a thing in real life?)

How about <abbr title="F sharp">F#</abbr> ?

The title attribute is widely supported, and your use of the hash
is more-or-less an abbreviation (OK it's really a substitute).

BTW, How do 'merkins get pound out of that? I know hash shared the
shift-3 keyboard position with pound on keyboards of 20 years ago,
but there's no resemblence beyond that historical quirk.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign

--
= Eric Bustad, Norwegian bachelor programmer
Jul 24 '05 #15
On Tue, 17 May 2005 13:24:13 +0000 (UTC), "Jukka K. Korpela"
<jk******@cs.tut.fi> wrote:
Mark Tranchant <ma**@tranchant.plus.com> wrote:
I don't want to use longhand "F-sharp,
B-flat" on the page. Visual browser support for the flat (♭)
and sharp (♯) characters is not good enough for me to use
those.


There's the (too obvious?) option of using small images, e.g.
B<img alt="-flat" src="flat.gif">
This might be a feasible alternative, despite the (obvious?)
disadvantages such as the fact that the image does not change size and
style as font size and face are changed.


Perhaps the image could be styled with a height of 1em? That should
allow it to change size, at least. If one makes the native size of the
image somewhat larger than most peoples' likely chosen default font
size, it should stand enlargement without serious degradation of
quality.

Here is an example:

<http://theodorakis.net/flat.html>

Nick

--
Nick Theodorakis
ni**************@hotmail.com
contact form:
http://theodorakis.net/contact.html
Jul 24 '05 #16
Mark Tranchant wrote:
On some of my pages, for example:

http://tranchant.plus.com/guitar/cho...l/music-theory

...I refer to musical note names a lot in the text, such as A, F# and
Eb. Whilst cycling in to work this morning, it suddenly struck me that a
screen reader or speech browser would have a hard time with this. I
guess the user would end up with "F-pound" (for US speech browsers) and
"Ebb" or something.

So, what's the best solution? I don't want to use longhand "F-sharp,
B-flat" on the page. Visual browser support for the flat (♭) and
sharp (♯) characters is not good enough for me to use those.

What I want is something like <span pronounce="E flat">Eb</span> - a way
to make the speech browser say something *instead* of the apparent
content. Any ideas?


Check this out:

http://www.music-notation.info/en/co...onformats.html

Jul 24 '05 #17
JRS: In article <jm************@asgard.webthing.com>, dated Tue, 17 May
2005 10:04:27, seen in news:comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Nick
Kew <ni**@asgard.webthing.com> posted :

Re # :
BTW, How do 'merkins get pound out of that? I know hash shared the
shift-3 keyboard position with pound on keyboards of 20 years ago,
but there's no resemblence beyond that historical quirk.


ISTR hearing that it came from, for example, dog-pound. Hence its use
for pounds Sterling and Avoirdupois, for the same sound.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v4.00 MIME.
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> - FAQqish topics, acronyms & links;
Astro stuff via astron-1.htm, gravity0.htm ; quotings.htm, pascal.htm, etc.
No Encoding. Quotes before replies. Snip well. Write clearly. Don't Mail News.
Jul 24 '05 #18

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