SASL Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 - Page 81

Understanding Signed Music
Cripps & Lyonblum
ASL . Second , deaf people share similar cultural properties as found in other cultures . Thus , signed music cannot be written off and should be considered seriously .
Yerker Andersson , a Deaf Studies scholar , rightly notes that “[ signed ] language is at the core , embodying terminology issues and the role and use of language in the development of cultural identity ” ( Andersson & Burch , 2010 , pp . 193-194 ). It is important to remember that the discussion to this point is regarding deaf people who know ASL and reside in North America . Nanda & Warms ( 2002 ) explained that languages reflect cultural emphases and create the ways in which cultures categorize their physical and social environment including the ideas , objects , or relationships . In other words , languages and cultures interact and dynamically impact each other , and the formation of different languages in the world exemplifies the distinction between cultures . It is not surprising that deaf people in different geographic areas have different cultures which are reflected in their indigenous signed languages ( Padden , 2010 ). For example , New Zealand Sign Language used by culturally deaf New Zealanders may include signed words reflecting perspectives and experiences ( cuisine , clothing , etc .) that are not part of the deaf American experience . The impact of different cultures on signed music is expected to be immense , especially regarding the prospect of how musical experiences vary among deaf people around the world . The basic idea that deaf people have their own music through non-audible sources is revolutionary in its own right .
Music and Deaf People
The perspective of hearing people on the history of deaf people ’ s capacity for creating and enjoying music is best described as “ harsh .” The fact that deaf people were once viewed as lacking language ( and sufficient cultural knowledge ; e . g ., Bender , 1981 ; Branson & Miller , 1998 ; Van Cleve & Crouch , 1989 ) would negate any discussion on the concept of signed music . Speaking and the use of spoken language were thought to be the norm , thus deaf individuals were expected to suffer the consequences . This scenario emphasizes that deaf people are ‘ forever ’ detached from musical experiences . Hollywood films and English literature depicting deaf people have reinforced the view that deaf people lead a dreary life in silence ( Padden & Humphries , 1988 ; Schuchman , 1988 ). However , it is important to note that the American deaf community is known for being closely knit and resilient over the years ( which include ethnic-like qualities ; Lane , Pillard , & Hedberg , 2011 ). Culturally deaf people frequently see themselves as ‘ us ’ and hearing people as ‘ them ’, for example . The oppressive history experienced by deaf people ( i . e ., not allowed to sign in school , limited employment opportunities , poor education , and their disability poorly received ) is well-documented ( e . g ., Baynton , 1993 , 1996 ; Bruch , 2004 ; Gannon , 1981 ; Lane , 1984 , 1999 ; Moores , 1996 ; Van Cleve & Crouch , 1989 ).
The fact that deaf people are well-known for being signers is remarkable given their unfavorable history with society . In the beginning of deaf education , during the early nineteenth century , the situation was considered positive . Policies were supportive of ASL , and the establishment of schools for the deaf allowed deaf children from a wide territory to assemble and socialize for the first time . The critical mass of deaf children growing up together led to the creation of strong local and nationwide deaf communities when they reach adulthood . While the situation for ASL worsened over time during the early 1900s , deaf people simply went underground for the maintenance of their language and for functioning as signers ( Van Cleve & Crouch , 1989 ). The modern situation with ASL and deaf culture continues to be challenging with many deaf children integrated in local public schools . This has resulted in the deterioration of socialization
SASLJ , Vol . 1 , No . 1 – Fall / Winter 2017 81
Understanding Signed Music Cripps & Lyonblum ASL. Second, deaf people share similar cultural properties as found in other cultures. Thus, signed music cannot be written off and should be considered seriously. Yerker Andersson, a Deaf Studies scholar, rightly notes that “[signed] language is at the core, embodying terminology issues and the role and use of language in the development of cultural identity” (Andersson & Burch, 2010, pp. 193-194). It is important to remember that the discussion to this point is regarding deaf people who know ASL and reside in North America. Nanda & Warms (2002) explained that languages reflect cultural emphases and create the ways in which cultures categorize their physical and social environment including the ideas, objects, or relationships. In other words, languages and cultures interact and dynamically impact each other, and the formation of different languages in the world exemplifies the distinction between cultures. It is not surprising that deaf people in different geographic areas have different cultures which are reflected in their indigenous signed languages (Padden, 2010). For example, New Zealand Sign Language used by culturally deaf New Zealanders may include signed words reflecting perspectives and experiences (cuisine, clothing, etc.) that are not part of the deaf American experience. The impact of different cultures on signed music is expected to be immense, especially regarding the prospect of how musical experiences vary among deaf people around the world. The basic idea that deaf people have their own music through non-audible sources is revolutionary in its own right. Music and Deaf People The perspective of hearing people on the history of deaf people’s capacity for creating and enjoying music is best described as “harsh.” The fact that deaf people were once viewed as lacking language (and sufficient cultural knowledge; e.g., Bender, 1981; Branson & Miller, 1998; Van Cleve & ɽՍ䤁ݽձє䁑͍ͥѡЁͥͥM)ѡ͔Յݕɔѡ՝ЁѼѡɴѡ́٥Յ́ݕɔѕ)Ѽՙȁѡ͕Օ̸Q͍́ɥͥ́ѡЁɔaɕٕˊdхɽ)ͥɥ̸!ݽ́͠ѕɅɔѥٔɕɍ)ѡ٥܁ѡЁɕ䁱ͥA!յɥ̰MՍ(स!ݕٕȰЁ́хЁѼєѡЁѡɥչ䁥́ݸȁ)͕䁭ЁɕͥЁٕȁѡ啅̀ݡՑѡՅѥ1Aɐ)!ɜĤ ձɅ䁑ɕՕѱ͕ѡ͕ٕ́̃aϊdɥ+aѡdȁᅵQɕͥٔѽ䁕ɥ䁑ЁݕѼͥ)͍ѕ嵕Ёչѥ̰ȁՍѥѡȁͅɱɕٕ)́ݕյѕ ѽ̰ Ս1а)5ɕ̰Y ٔ ɽՍ䤸)QЁѡЁɔݕݸȁͥ́́ɕɭٕѡ)չٽɅѽݥѠͽ丁%ѡՍѥɥѡɱ䁹ѕѠ)䰁ѡͥՅѥ݅́ͥɕͥѥٔÁݕɔѥٔM0ѡ)х͡Ё͍́ȁѡݕɕɽݥѕɥѽѼ͕)ͽ锁ȁѡЁѥQɥѥ́ɕɽݥѽѡȁѼѡɕѥ)ɽѥݥչѥ́ݡѡɕձѡ]ѡͥՅѥ)ȁM0ݽ͕ٕȁѥɥѡɱ̰ͥݕЁչɝɽչȁѡ)ѕѡȁՅȁչѥ́ͥ̀Y ٔ ɽՍ䤸Q)ɸͥՅѥݥѠM0ձɔѥՕ́ѼݥѠ䁑ɕ)ѕɅѕՉ̸͍Q́́ɕձѕѡѕɥɅѥͽѥ)MM1(Yİ9ăL]ѕȀ(