forScore 8: Accessibility

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We’ve heard from people all over the world who say that forScore has enabled them to continue playing music despite impaired vision or motor skills, and we’ve been working hard for over a year to find a better way to not just accommodate these kinds of users, but to rethink sheet music and be the first music reader to truly leverage the potential of its foundational technologies to dramatically extend usability. We call this technology Reflow, and we’re very excited to introduce it later this month with forScore 8.

Reflow scans your sheet music to figure out where each system of music is, then renders those areas (at up to twice their original size) and lays them out end-to-end. Tap the sides of the screen or use a page turner to move backwards and forwards by a set amount, or let your music scroll by like a horizontal teleprompter and tap the screen or use your pedals to speed it up or slow it down as you play.

While Reflow’s automatic detection does most of the work for you, some files may need manual adjustment (especially crooked scans). That’s where the editing interface comes in, allowing you to drag zones around, resize them, and split them for a perfect layout on each page.

For users with color blindness or deteriorating eyesight, iOS 7’s radical redesign can make it difficult to distinguish between interactive and non-interactive controls. Now you’ll be able to change the blue tint color used throughout forScore to something more comfortable for you. Both Reflow and app tint can be found in the new “Accessibility” section of forScore’s settings panel, and they join great system-wide accessibility features such as Dynamic Type, bold type, and inverted colors.

When we introduced forScore four years ago, we knew that choosing to work exclusively with PDF files would limit our ability to add most kinds of accessibility features, and we’re very proud of the work we’ve done so far to help bring more musicians back to their instruments. We know this is just a start, and we’re looking forward to having ongoing conversations with our customers to find even more ways to innovate and make music something we can all truly share.