The Biology of Musical Performance and Performance-Related Injury

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Scarecrow Press, Jan 26, 2009 - Music - 392 pages
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Music performance requires a high degree of physical skill, yet until recently, musical training has paid little attention to the considerable demands made on the mind and body. The Biology of Musical Performance and Performance-Related Injury presents singers and instrumentalists with accurate information on the physical processes that underlie their craft. The book provides a concise overview of the biological principles associated with performance technique while assuming no prior scientific knowledge, making it accessible to both musicians and to health professionals who treat performance-related medical conditions.

Author Alan H. D. Watson explains the concepts and techniques of music performance, discussing themes such as posture and the back; movements of the arm and hand and associated problems; breathing in singers and wind players; the embouchure and respiratory tract in wind playing; the larynx and vocal tract in singers; the brain and its role in skill acquisition and aural processing; and stress and its management. Watson offers performers and teachers the tools they need to create a rational approach to the development and communication of technique. He also provides insight into the origins of performance-related injury, helping to reduce the risk of such problems by encouraging a technique that is sustainable in the long term. Each chapter includes several illustrations and an extensive bibliography for further reading. To support the text, a CD-Rom is included, featuring original diagrams that clearly illustrate the relevant aspects of body structure and function, explaining and illuminating key concepts through an extensive set of animations, sound files, and videos.

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Chapter 01 Introduction to the Tissues of the Body
Chapter 02 Posture and the Back in Musical Performance
Structure and Problems
Chapter 04 Breathing in Singing and Wind Playing
Management and Problems
Chapter 06 The Embouchure and Wind Playing
Chapter 07 The Structure and Organization of the Brain
Chapter 08 How the Performance of Music Affects the Brain
Chapter 09 Hearing and the Processing of Musical Sound by the Brain
Chapter 10 PerformanceRelated Stress and Its Management
About the Author

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About the author (2009)

Alan H. D. Watson is Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroscience in the School of Bioscience at Cardiff University. He also teaches a course on music biology at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

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