Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Louie Hehman

Second Advisor

Prof. Dave Clark


“The Legend of the City of Ys” is a Breton story of a city’s downfall and curse to be swallowed by the sea. Years later, this tragic tale inspired “The Engulfed Cathedral,” a piano composition for Claude Debussy’s Preludes, Book I, L. 117. Following analyses of “The Legend of the City of Ys” and “The Engulfed Cathedral,” an interpretation of the narrative was created in American Sign Language to be performed with the music. The goal is to focus on inclusivity and accessibility in music for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and then expand that to consider how to bridge the divide between Deaf and hearing communities. This project illustrates that storytelling is a core aspect of the human experience that transcends boundaries and connects people despite their differences. By exploring a story through different modes of communication, the aptitudes and limitations of each medium can be assessed, and the value of diverse forms of expression can be recognized.