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Rhythm Stories and Songs, Signed

  • By: Summer Crider Loeffler
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Language and literature are the most important vehicles for “driving music” in the Deaf community. Members of the American Deaf community have expressed many of their songs through their rich culture of rhythmic literature. These song categories and genres of Deaf music are American Sign Language (ASL) poetry, traditional ASL storytelling, translated songs, Deaf raps, signing with choreographed dances, and percussion signing (including chanting forms: fight, protest, and spirit songs).

Deaf people in history have sought ways to find how music can be redefined to embody their ways of being. In the technical sense, sound is composed of vibrations propagating through a medium such as air, and it travels in two ways: through the auditory channel and through the skin. The sense of hearing is a ...

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