Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Musical Instrument Ergonomics

Ralph A. Manchester
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 21 Number 4: Page 157 (December 2006)

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Abstract: David Nabb¿s interview of Maarten Visser on page 159 of this issue and Brenda Wristen¿s article on the 7/8ths keyboard from the March issue are two recent examples of articles on musical instrument ergonomics. Ergonomics, literally the study of work, is defined as ¿the applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.¿ When I was an undergraduate student at Tufts University in the 1970s, my engineering roommate studied ¿human factors engineering¿ (but never applied it to music, as far as I know). In 2006, a Google search for ¿ergonomic musical instruments¿ yields over 1 million websites; a search for ¿musical instruments¿ yields 16 million websites.

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