Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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An Exploratory Pilot Study of Brain Activation and Functional Connectivity Induced by the Goldberg Variations 276 years after their Commission

C. Karmonik, Makiko Hirata, Saba Elias, J. Todd Frazier
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 34 Number 4: Page 191 (December 2019)

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Abstract: Around 1741, composer Johann Sebastian Bach published a long and complicated keyboard piece, calling it Aria with diverse variations for a harpsichord with two manuals. It was the capstone of a publication project called German Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice) where Bach wanted to show what was possible at the keyboard in terms of technical development, virtuosic finesse and compositional sophistication. The music is meticulously patterned, beginning with a highly ornamented Aria, the bass line of which fuels the 30 variations that follow. The piece is clearly divided into two parts with the second half beginning with an overture with a fanfare opening, in variation 16. The piece ends as it begins, with the return of the Aria. Here, we present an investigation into activation and connectivity in the brain of a pianist, who listened to her own recording of the ¿Goldberg¿ variation while undergoing a fMRI examination. Similarity of brain connectivity is quantified and compared with the subjective scores provided by the subject.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2019.4030

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