Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Sight-Reading Versus Repertoire Performance on the Piano: A Case Study Using High-Speed Motion Analysis

Brenda Wristen, Sharon Evans, Nicholas Stergiou
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 21 Number 1: Page 10 (March 2006)

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Abstract: This study was intended to examine whether differences exist in the motions employed by pianists when they are sight-reading versus performing repertoire and to determine whether these differences can be quantified using high-speed motion capture technology. A secondary question of interest was whether or not an improvement in the efficiency of motion could be observed between two sight-reading trials of the same musical excerpt. This case study employed one subject and a six-camera digital infrared camera system to capture the motion of the pianist playing two trials of a repertoire piece and two trials of a sight-reading excerpt. Angular displacements and velocities were calculated for bilateral shoulder, elbow, wrist, and index finger joints. The findings demonstrate the usefulness of high-speed motion capture technology for analyzing motions of pianists during performance, showing that the subject¿s motions were less efficient in sight-reading tasks than is repertoire tasks.

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