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Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Questions: KTB@ks.gov or 800-362-0699

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Mar 09

Music Collection: BARD's Hidden Gem

Posted on March 9, 2022 at 9:44 AM by Michael Lang

This last week I made an amazing discovery on the BARD Website.  There are books called playing by ear series.  Bill Brown walks you through playing songs on the piano.  It is incredible!  Some are simple for beginners and some are advanced.  I used to be able to see music well enough to read it but I haven’t for a long time.  Dan would read and record it for me which took a lot of time and effort.  I couldn’t believe it when I downloaded Bridge Over Troubled Water and it’s the advanced version like I’ve wanted to play.  I hope they put more on the website because it is awesome.  I wonder how many Talking Book readers know about this.  I just had to share because it is so awesome!  This is something I never thought would happen and there it is.  There are all sorts of songs to choose from.  Maybe you guys could highlight it on your FB page or put something in the newsletter?  Maybe you already have and I missed it, too.  Anyway, thanks for listening!!!  Chris O., Kansas Talking Book Patron.

We agree wholeheartedly with Chris and her enthusiastic note above.  The BARD Musical Scores and Books sections is a unique treasure provided to talking book users and not nearly enough people know about it. Nested between the FIND BOOKS and FIND MAGAZINES headings on the BARD Main page is FIND MUSIC BOOKS AND SCORES . It's an unassuming heading with a single link that reads Music Collection but clicking on that link provides access to a variety of resources for musicians of all levels and music lovers in general.


Braille music materials all have the prefix BRM. Examples include 

  • Scores for various instruments and voice
    • BRM05425 Finlandia: op 26 Nr. 7 (Piano) by Jean Sibelius
    • BRM01014 125 Songs for Group Singing by Illinois Braille & Sight Saving School
  • Music texts and many method books
    • BRM34803 Basic Jazz Improvisation by Joseph Levey
    • BRM35206 Sounds and Score: Practical guide to professional orchestration by Henry Mancini
  • Popular Music Lead Sheets
    • BRM32743  Ma! (He’s Making Eyes at Me), Miss Independent, MMMBOP, I Cried for You!, All My Life

Audio materials have the prefix DBM, Examples include 

  • Instructional guides, both instrumental and vocal.
    • DBM01852 The Little Horses (Soprano) by Aaron Copland
    • DBM03552 My Heart Will Go On (Flute) presented by Bill Brown
  • Music appreciation and history 
    • DMB00715 From Jumpstreet: A story of black music by National Public Radio
    • DBM02881 The History of Classical Music by Richard Fawkes & Robert Powell
  • Biographies of entertainers, musicians, and composers
    • DMB00899 Janis Joplin by Mik Whorf
    • DBM00718 Johann Strauss II: His life and music

We've listed just some of the items available from BARD. NLS offers the largest collection of braille music scores in the world, whether in digital or physical format. Check out testimonials from NLS music users in the video below. 


Additional NLS Music Section resources

NLS Music Website 

NLS Music Notes Blog