Letter: Audience that the Notes are talking to

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Sir: David Lister's amusing article ('Spare us an electric light orchestra', 8 August) misses two significant points about Talking Notes audio introductions.

First, I originally conceived Talking Notes for blind and partially sighted patrons, and they will always be the core audience - that's why the talking part is so important. Graham Sheffield and his colleagues at the Royal Festival Hall recognised that sighted people might also find them helpful, and have generously agreed to make them more widely available.

Second, the audio introductions will be presented live. This is essential if blind patrons are to be given instantaneous description of platform activity, as well as relevant, companionable conversation about the music. Recorded introductions could only replicate the printed programme.

The sponsors, the Leopold Muller Estate, and also the Royal National Institute for the Blind, government ministers, the Arts Council, the Association of British Orchestras, the managements of the orchestras themselves, dozens of concert halls and promoters have all been enthusiastic in their support. As have the numerous blind patrons of English National Opera, where there is a Talking Notes presentation for every production.

Yours faithfully,


London, SE7

9 August