Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Comparing Violinists' Body Movements While Standing, Sitting, and in Sitting Orientations to the Right or Left of a Music Stand

Claudia Spahn, Céline Wasmer, Franziska Eickhoff, and Manfred Nusseck
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 29 Number 2: Page 86 (June 2014)

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Abstract: Objectives: For violinists, it is common practice to play while standing or sitting. When playing in an orchestra, generally two persons share one music stand, with one sitting to the right and the other to the left of the stand. The present study investigated specific movement patterns while playing in these different positions. Methods: Using a posturographic device and 3D motion capture, the body weight distributions and specific body movements of 19 violinists were analyzed. Results: Results showed unbalanced weight distributions while sitting in front of or oriented to the right of the music stand compared to the almost even distributions while standing or oriented to the left of the stand. Analyses of movement patterns showed significant differences between standing and sitting, mainly in the upper body parts with less movability while sitting. While sitting in front of or oriented to the right of the music stand, the right bowing arm showed more restricted movements compared to other positions. Conclusion: The playing positions are discussed with regard to possible physiological stress and health risks. The study emphasizes the importance of different playing positions and offers starting points for discussion of postural influences and sensible handling of the instrument in performance and practice for violinists.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2014.2019

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