Making sheet music 'lower contrast', ideally purple tinted?
May 27, 2012 4:17 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine is dyslexic and enjoys performing as part of an orchestra, but she finds sheet music very hard to read as it's very high contrast. She would ideally like it to be purple tinted. Any ideas how to practically achieve this?

My friend enjoys performing in an orchestra, but is recently finding reading sheet music increasingly difficult as she finds reading black-on-white and even white-on-black very hard.

When she was tested recently it was found that lower contrast particularly a purple tint helped a lot.

In day to day reading she can use plastic sheets to achieve this, but during long pieces it makes turning pages practically impossible.

Any ideas?
posted by ElliotH to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A friend with similar dyslexic issues found purple-tinted glasses helped. Dunno how that would work with sheet music or in an orchestral setting, though.
posted by MuChao at 4:20 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Plastic sheets inserted in page protectors, which hold the sheets of music?
posted by SMPA at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

are these separate, regular 8.5"x11" (Or probably A4, as you're in England) pieces of paper, or are these the bound orchestral books that I've seen?

If it's the former, can she just photocopy everything onto non-white paper?
posted by brainmouse at 4:24 PM on May 27, 2012

Response by poster: Made up of bound books, expensive printed music she can't take away from the orchestra itself and some individual sheets.

The photocopying would work great on individual sheets though, shall suggest it.
posted by ElliotH at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2012

Scan ➔ Photoshop ➔ Print
posted by Tom-B at 4:30 PM on May 27, 2012

Purple tinted sunglasses?
posted by oceanjesse at 4:34 PM on May 27, 2012

Photocopying the music using purple tinted paper?

She can do that at a copy/fax center if she doesn't want to buy a whole thing.
posted by spunweb at 4:59 PM on May 27, 2012

Best answer: How about a purple music light, perhaps combined with some kind of light shielding around her music stand to reduce the amount of white light coming in?
posted by amtho at 5:03 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some kind of purple-tinted transparent thing to put on top of the music when it sits on the stand? I'm thinking something similar to those plexiglass things some musicians use to prevent their music from flying away outdoors. Would be kind of a pain in the ass for page turns, though.
posted by rebennett at 5:23 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What about a stand light with a purple gel sheet?
posted by high5ths at 5:57 PM on May 27, 2012

I distinctly remember many office supply stores having transparent purple plastic pockets meant to hold a piece of paper in a 3 ring binder, though now I can't seem to find it. Something transparently purple seems easiest.
posted by zug at 11:09 PM on May 27, 2012

Scan ➔ Photoshop ➔ Print

Bring in a scanner, scan, and then print at home onto purple paper.
Bring in an all-in-one scanner-printer, and use the 'photocopy' setting to print onto purple paper.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:21 AM on May 28, 2012

Purple highlighter tape is often used by students with disabilities over text. Might help in this situation.
posted by puritycontrol at 2:07 AM on May 28, 2012

Are you sure she can't take it away from the orchestra itself? If she can't, how does she practice? I don't know what or where she plays, but I've never heard of that (and, for the record, never seen orchestra players use "expensive bound books"). But I'll take your word for it.

She should speak to the orchestra librarian about this. "Hi; I was wondering if you would be willing to photocopy the Overture to X for me a) on this paper I am helpfully providing for you or b) at my own expense. I find it easier to read, and I will only be using them for personal use."
posted by Madamina at 5:44 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hopefully your friend has thought of this, but lighting during performance situations is not always great; if lighting is poor, a low-contrast part may not be all that legible. I would keep the black-on-white parts on hand, just in case.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:20 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Many of our, let's say, more experienced orchestra players make photocopies of the music for better legiblity. There are other benefits to this, as they can write whatever they need to on the copies without worrying about erasing it and it actually helps with page turning because you can adjust easily for badly designed page turns. If there are any legal concerns, as long as the original music is on stage during the actual performance (it doesn't need to actually be used), you're conforming with the U.S. laws (at least according to my old orchestra's research). If better lighting may help, there are some nice ones now with bulbs that are more white than yellow and run on batteries. (My current stand partner is dyslexic; we've had several conversations about how she needs to read the music in chunks and when to turn pages -- we use photocopies most of the time, but she's never mentioned purple tint.)
posted by girlhacker at 10:18 AM on May 28, 2012

« Older Monobrow-ow-ow-ow: eyebrow wax tears my skin   |   Don't leave sperm-looking marks on my future... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.