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The purpose of this treatise is to introduce string players to a wide array of sources that can be helpful in developing healthy playing habits and preventing injury. More and more musicians are discovering that playing their instruments can cause pain or even serious injury. A recent study revealed that seventy-five percent of orchestra musicians reported having at least one performance-related medical problem. Janet Horvath, Associate Principal Cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra and Director of the "Playing (less) Hurt" Conference Series, lists several reasons for this trend. Orchestra schedules are more demanding than they were thirty years ago, repertoire is more difficult, pieces that were considered unplayable at their premiere are now part of the standard repertoire, and composers have incorporated more extended techniques into their works, resulting in musicians having to increase their own technical capabilities. Also, partly due to the recording industry, the standards of playing are higher and there is far more competition for jobs. While these conditions apply to professional musicians, there is always a younger generation of students striving to meet these standards and hurting themselves as well. Music medicine is a relatively new field that includes collaboration between psychologists, neurologists, orthopedists, surgeons, rheumatologists, and specialists in other branches of medicine including sports medicine and physical and occupational therapy. Additionally, massage therapy, chiropractic, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, and other movement programs have provided relief for many. While so many doctors and therapists have dedicated themselves to finding remedies for musicians' injuries, there is still a gap between those who understand the science behind pain, and those who understand the mechanics of playing. Perhaps the best medicine is for musicians to become more involved in their own healing process. Doctors can help alleviate pain, but only musicians themselves can change the factors that cause the pain. This annotated bibliography includes self-help books, textbooks, dissertations, and current research in the areas of music medicine, sports medicine, prevention, and movement education. It also contains a list of relevant videos, websites, workshops, and organizations.
Playing Injuries, Injury Prevention, Music Medicine
Date of Defense
November 4, 2003.
A Treatise Submitted to the School of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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