PAIN ISSUES AND JACOBS PRINCIPLE
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Basic front muscles
Basic back muscles
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Violin Geometry drawing
A Violin which is too big for the child
People come in different sizes and shapes: tall, short, long-armed or with short ones, people with a short or a long neck. Traditionally there is only one size to fit all fully-grown string players. No wonder that about 86% of musicians have to endure ‘job related injuries’, which can become irreversible and permanent if they are not recognised and tackled in time.
A scientific medical article published in January 2014 on PubMed by Steinmetz A, Scheffer I, Esmer E, Delank KS, Peroz I. (with title: Frequency, severity and predictors of playing-related musculoskeletal pain in professional orchestral musicians in Germany.) reads: “Playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMD) in professional musicians are common. Existing literature demonstrates that up to 86 % of musicians are affected.”
But not only professionals with years of playing experience get affected in some way, also serious amateurs and already even students of music. Today more and more medical research is being carried out in the musician as a patient and his/her specific wishes, needs and demands.
Of course the violinmaker cannot treat the medical symptoms, but he can try to tackle the cause of the problem to prevent further damage – IF the symptoms are really caused by using a wrong sized instrument. Maybe a correct sound adjustment or instrument adjustment is enough to boost playability and solve the problem, but if this is not the case then a complete new instrument might be wise to consider.
This new instrument can then be designed and made to fit you as a unique individual. This is the Jacobs principle: designing and making the instrument fit the person and not the other way around.
Often the instrument is found to be too big, which can cause problems and restrictions for technical progress and musical expression and interpretation.
Going back to a 3/4 fractional instrument is not advised. It does not only mean a step back in size, but also a huge step back in quality of sound, richness of timbre and volume.
An instrument with a smaller body stop could be a good answer to this problem. This creates a smaller vibrating string length with a normal sized sound box, or instrument body.
We are very happy to reserve time for you to assess the situation, offer advice and help you to make an informed decision on what would be considered the best way forward.