Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Rehabilitation of a Cellist Whose Vibrato Was Affected by Focal Dystonia

Rae de Lisle, Dale B. Speedy, John M.D. Thompson
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 4: Page 227 (December 2012)

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Abstract: Focal dystonia can result in a variety of technical problems in the performing musician, most often affecting control of finger movement, and embouchure. Less common is the effect of focal dystonia on the vibrato of string players. The professional cellist in our study presented with difficulty controlling her vibrato, which fluctuated both in speed and amplitude, causing an inconsistency of sound. This study investigated whether instrumental retraining could alleviate her condition. We report the novel finding that instrumental retraining can significantly improve the symptoms of a dystonic vibrato in a cellist.

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