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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Imprimir: 0896-2960
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.2017019208
pages 175-185

Movement Alteration in Flute Players: Can It Help Us Understand Focal Dystonia?

Andrea Savord
Department of Psychology, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
Erik Wisuri
Department of Computer Science, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
Peter Pless
Department of Art and Design, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
Ilja Frissen
School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
Mounia Ziat
Department of Psychology, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI, 49855


This project examines the extent to which musicians at varying stages of expertise are able to adapt to changes in motor movement (specifically in the kinesthetic sense) while playing an instrument. Eight well-practiced and five beginning flute players were tested on playing a major scale on both a modified flute and a traditional flute. The modified flute had altered key positions so that the participants' right and left hands were on the same side of the instrument. The two modified conditions involved either playing the modified flute with the same fingers as one would play on a traditional flute (MODI) or playing the same keys one would use (MOD2). The traditional flute was played with standard hand positions and fingerings as a control (CTL). Results show no differences between the two groups, but do reveal differences between the two modified conditions with respect to the control condition across the ten scales, suggesting that new mappings can be learned in the modified conditions. These new mappings may be the first step in designing a therapy for flute players with focal dystonia that works similarly to other already established remapping therapies that have been developed for other instrumentalists.

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