How Sign Language Innovators Are Bringing Music To The Deaf

Sign Language Music

The relation between man and music, soul and melody, and brain and beat is a well-knit wholesome relation. Having a relief in the form of music and to be able to associate with tunes is often therapeutic. However, this popular opinion often changes for the deaf and those with hearing disabilities.

It is lesser-known that such individuals are equally susceptible to the magic of music and can feel it through vibrations. Also, there are other sign language translations media that help them perceive this music.


Who are sign language innovators?

Sign language innovators are those who are qualified to translate conversations and other aspects of life into sign language. These innovators aim at conveying messages and conversing with the deaf.

But more importantly, they want to bring changes in the existing sign language connotations so that significant improvements can be made. As revealed by popular sign language interpreter, Amber Galloway Gallego, sign language for a long time now, has emphasized on lyrics and language rather than on music.

Taking note of such shortcomings in the traditional American Sign Language (ASL), modern sign language innovators are making efforts to alter the way music is received by the deaf.


Legal provision of sign language interpretation

As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, individuals with any disability cannot be discriminated against. The act covers various areas, including employment, state and local governments, public accommodations, and even telecommunications.

As a result of this act, it has become a common sight to see sign language interpreters at concerts and other stage shows. This has given the deaf a hope to enjoy music with a lot of zest and enthusiasm.


Use of gestures and expressions

In order to express music in terms of its beat and sound, sign language innovators have reoriented the use of gestures and expressions. The use of facial expressions has been a common aspect of sign language, so has been the use of emotive gestures. These brilliant innovators have made a collection of dance and musical signs through these actions.

Instead of simply showing that music is being played, interpreters emphasize on the beat and thickness of sounds. They depict high and low pitches through the placement of their hands above the head or near the waist, respectively. The use of gestures and expressions has made it possible to make a deeper dive into the musical experience.


Interpretation of rhythm and lyrics

Along with the innovative use of gestures, interpreting rhythm and lyrics is essential to fully translate the auditory experience into a visual one. Sign language innovators are actively making use of rhymes and metaphors in the lyrics. These are further translated from English to sign language, making it a wholesome experience for deaf individuals.

While translating the lyrics through metaphors, sign language innovators have also ensured that they don’t miss out on the rhythm of the song. They consistently keep up with the speed at which the song is being sung, even if they are rap songs. It is no doubt that sign language interpretation requires utmost dedication and innovation.

In addition to such innovative techniques, sign language innovators also blend two signs to depict wordplay in raps.


Summing it up

The way in which sign language innovators have come to convey music to the deaf is commendable. The translation of music into sign language today has progressed from its traditional methods.

It has become much more profound, in-depth, and connectable for the deaf. Interpreters like Gallego have been seen interpreting music in concerts of Twista, popular 90’s rap star, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, etc. She has interpreted over 400 concerts in ASL and played a crucial role in bringing music into the lives of the deaf.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *