How a Creative Form of American Sign Language Is Used to Visualize the Emotional Power of Music

Estelle Caswell of Vox spoke with Amber Galloway Gallego, a sign language interpreter who is known for creatively visualizing music into grammatically correct American Sign Language. Gallego, who has worked with over a great number of famous musicians, explains why she translates the emotion of the music for those who are hearing impaired or deaf.

If we merely show the sign for music then we are doing an injustice as an interpreter. So after listening to the beat and how their their tonality is and all the instruments then what I do is I break it down from English to ASL. So rhyming, metaphor, and wordplay are an intrinsic part of lyrical music especially hip-hop. …Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 concert venues have been required to provide interpreters for deaf attendees. …It’s vitally important that concert venues hire interpreters who understand the emotional power of music.