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uni'wissen 02-2013_ENG

Prof. Dr. Claudia Spahn has served as co-director of the Freiburg Institute of Music Medicine (FIM) along with Prof. Dr. Bern- hard Richter since the insti- tute’s founding in 2005. She studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg, Paris, and Chur as well as recorder and piano at the Freiburg University of Mu- sic. After completing her doctorate in medicine and training as a specialist in psychotherapeutic medi- cine, she earned her habili- tation qualification in Freiburg in 2004. At the FIM she primarily treats instrumentalists with physi- cal and psychological prob- lems. Her research and teaching focuses on pre- vention for musicians, per- formance anxiety in singers and instrumentalists, and the analysis of body meth- ods as well as motion in playing musical instru- ments. Photos: FIM Further Reading Spahn, C./Richter, B./Pöppe, J./Echternach, M. (2013): Das Blasinstru- mentenspiel: Physiologische Vorgänge und Einblicke ins Körperinnere. Esslingen. Spahn, C./Richter, B./Altenmüller, E. (2011): MusikerMedizin. Diagnostik, Prävention und Behandlung musikerspezifischer Erkrankungen. Stuttgart. methods the researchers used to record the films inside the body. Despite the educational nature of the films, however, Spahn stresses that the point is not to show people the right or wrong way to play: “There are various schools and techniques, and ev- eryone has his or her own physical preconditions. But we take the example of excellent soloists to show how it can be done.” What Spahn finds most remarkable about the movements of the profes- sional musicians is the precision and economy in the interplay between breathing, the larynx, and the vocal tract. They hardly make any unnecessary movements at all: “The better the musicians are, the less they do.” There were also several surprising findings – such as how radically the tongue can change its shape. This is particularly pronounced when a clarinet player glides from the highest to the deepest notes: The tongue can contract until it is remarkably compact and then expand to fill al- most the entire oral cavity. Also previously un- known was how important the vocal cords are for playing vibrato, which wind instrumentalists do mainly by moving their diaphragm. Images like this, says Spahn, are fascinating and beautiful: “It is astounding how well these complex pro- cesses work, and there are wonderful parallels to the music inside our bodies – for example the way the diaphragm dances to the beat.” “The better the musicians are, the less they do” Prof. Dr. Bernhard Richter has served as co-director of the Freiburg Institute of Music Medicine (FIM) along with Prof. Dr. Claudia Spahn since the institute’s founding in 2005. He stud- ied medicine at the Univer- sities of Freiburg, Basel, and Dublin as well as sing- ing at the Freiburg Univer- sity of Music. After completing his doctorate in medicine and training as an ear, nose, and throat and voice specialist, he earned his habilitation qualification in Freiburg in 2002. At the FIM he primarily treats singers and voice patients. His research and teaching focuses on the opera stage as a place of work, the methods of high-speed glottography and dynamic magnetic resonance imag- ing for the study of voice physiology, voice develop- ment in singers throughout life, and ear protection for orchestral musicians. Visit our research portal to learn more about the technology employed by Prof. Dr. Claudia Spahn and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Richter. Sample video clips from the DVD Das Blasinstrumentenspiel are available for viewing at 23