Department of Languages

Department of Languages Faculty Member’s Research Features in Discussions of Signed Music Musical

Following up on our January 2021 post on signed music, Department of Languages’ Dr. Jody Cripps, Assistant Professor of ASL, has shared some developments in the topic of signed music. Dr. Cripps’ research was mentioned in two Talk Back discussions with the cast and crew of “The Black Drum”, the first full length signed music musical, which is a topic of research by Dr. Cripps and his colleagues. “The Black Drum” streamed live on YouTube for a virtual performance on March 25-27.

Signed music is an emerging visual and performance art which arises from within the Deaf community. As explained by the Signed Music Project, which is a collaboration by a diverse team of researchers and educators from several organizations and educational instututions, signed music “may incorporate ASL literary poetic features such as lines, meter, rhythm and rhyme and also incorporates basic elements of music such as harmony, rhythm, melody, timbre, and texture, which is expressed as a visual-gestural artistic form.”

Both Talk Back discussions on the weekend’s streaming event are featured on Deaf Culture Centre’s facebook page. In the first component of the discussions, “The Black Drum: Talk Back with the Cast”, moderated by Linda Cundy from Alberta Cultural Society of the Deaf, cast member Yan Liu mentions her participation in research by Dr. Cripps and his colleagues in 2015 on the topic of “What is signed music?”.

Dr. Cripps’ workshopping is mentioned by the producer Joanne Cripps in the second Talk Back discussion, “The Black Drum: Talk Back with the Crew”.

For more information on The Black Drum, check out the Deaf Culture Centre on Facebook.

For more about signed music, you can see Dr. Cripps in the documentary “Signed Music: Rhythm of the Heart”.