Physiological Parameters of Playing the Trombone using the Example of Muscle Activity, Contact Pressure on the Mouthpiece and Volume - an Exploratory Cross-Sectional Study
ObjektivesPlaying the trombone can lead to playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMD). Previous research suggests that professional trombonists predominantly struggle with PRMD on the left body side. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between contact pressure on the mouthpiece, volume and muscle activity of various muscles of the left body side.MethodSix male tenor trombonists were included in this study and run through a standardized protocol which consisted of playing a b-flat major scale with three different volumes (pianissimo, mezzoforte, fortissimo). Examination parameters were the muscle activity of 7 muscles of the left body side using surface electromyography as well as the contact pressure on the mouthpiece.ResultsAnalysis of variance reveals significant differences of the muscle activity for the three volume levels. Additionally, Spearman’s coefficient shows weak to strong correlations between volume and muscle activity of various muscles. The strongest correlation across all muscles occurs during fortissimo playing.DiscussionThese results show a relationship in healthy tenor trombonists between volume, contact pressure on the mouthpiece and muscle activity when playing a b-flat major scale. Future research should include tenor trombonists with PRMD to enable comparison between PRMD and non-PRMD musicians.