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Musikphysiologische Grundlagen Praktische Konsequenzen

368 pages with approx. 120 illustrations and material for hand measurement,
in co-operation with Ulrike Wohlwender
in german language
Breitkopf & Härtel 2005, ISBN 3-7651-0376-4, 39 €

Chapter A
Introduction: hand and instrument – a strained relation?

Chapter B
„The instrument must almost become part of the player“

Chapter C
Posture and movement: short physiology for musicians

Chapter D
The hand as tool: short anatomy for musicians

Chapter E
The instrument-specific investigation of the hand

  Chapter F
How different are musicians' hands ? - results of measurement

Chapter G
Musicians' hands - musicians' fates

Chapter H

CONTENTS (abridged):

A.  Introduction: hand and instrument – a strained relation?

B.„The instrument must almost become part of the player“
  • The development of the instruments – in consideration of the hand?
  • Adaption to the instrument: systematic and historical aspects
  • Keyboard instruments − string instruments − woodwind instruments  other instruments
  • Instruments for children 
  • Unusual challenges to the human hand – a summary
C. Posture and movement: short physiology for musicians 
  • Physiology for musicians? 
  • Joints for mobility
  • Muscles for moving and holding
  • Joints and muscles: The game of forces and counteracting forces
  • Aiming movements: The chain-of-joints problem
D. The hand as tool: short anatomy for musicians 
  • Anatomy for musicians? 
  • Arm and hand: ancient concept – new challenge 
  • When playing becomes painful: a checklist 
  • Shoulder-region, elbow-region, wrist-region, hand and fingers
E. The instrument-specific investigation of the hand 
F. How different are musicians' hands? – results of measurement
  • Which characteristics vary the most?
  • Handsize, handshape and mobility: inter-individual differences
  • Inference from one characteristic to another?
  • On alteration of the hand in the course of life 
  • The constitution of the hand: predisposition?  changes by training?
G. musicians' hands – musicians' fates
  • Studying the individual case – hand profiles and backgrounds
  •  „ …always had to work very hard." (pianist, 59 y., piano professor, K 68)
  •  „Relaxation – I cannot hear that any longer! “(church music student, 26 y.)
  • „My efforts are out of proportion."(pianist, 27 y.)
  • „Sometimes I don't know any more how to move my fingers."(violinist, orchestra musician, 33 y.)
  • Change to the larger instrument (student oboe / English horn, 21 y.)
  • Teacher's hand - student's hand: "He simply doesn't understand me."(student piano, 27 y.)
  • Caution: subsidiary subject! (student bassoon, subsidiary subject piano, 22 y.)
  • Successful hands: Famous hands from past times hand profiles of participants 
    in international competitions
  • Focal dystonia 
H. Decisions
  • The hand and the „whole“
  • When „is the hand in play“?  long-term decisions  daily decisions
  • The pragmatic evaluation of the hand: Uncovering manual limitations by playing   
    recognizing manual limitations without the instrument

    simplified measuring of hand size and span widths
  • Consequences from the evaluation of the hand: changing the approach to the instrument?  
    changing one's hand by training?
    changing the instrument?
Appendix 1: Musicians' hands – statistic results
Appendix 2: Ranking of the coefficients of variation
Appendix 3: Intra-individual variation of the hand
Appendix 4: Childrens' hands − statistic results
Appendix 5: The technique of hand investigation

Register of sources, illustrations and literature
Illustrations of anatomy
Form for hand investigation and 8 sheets for hand measurement

Viola Zwerger

Kurze Handmuskulatur

2 Hände - gleicher Griff



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