Advances in Arts Biomechanics


Gongbing Shan
University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Peter Visentin
University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Series: Fine Arts, Music and Literature
BISAC: ART028000

Attitudes toward the role of the Arts in society are as varied as they are numerous, ranging from ‘the Arts are a (nice) diversion’ to ‘while many things may be necessary to make living possible, it is the Arts that make life worth living’. In the last few decades, research in the areas of psychology, neuroscience and sociology have underpinned the positive health benefits of the arts as well as artists’ roles in encouraging innovative thinking and the development of novel persectives for the betterment of society. But, artists work within the existence of boundary conditions.

For even the most subversive of artistic creations, the act of subversion is inherently referential to the condition that is being subverted. Furthermore, adaptation of “our modes of perception borrowed from the sensations” are hindered by the reality that “every word in the language refers to our ordinary perceptions” (Neils Bohrs, Nature Supplement, April 14, 1928), and is thus mediated by both the design capacities and limitations of the human form and the ways in which we express that experience. Hence, by examining multiple facets of the commonality of bodily experience Arts Biomechanics explores the human capacity to translate between the perspectives of self and other.

Arts Biomechanics as a field of study uses the tools and methods of science to understanding the bodily experience within artistic creation. Desired aesthetic outcomes are influenced by: 1) how an artist might use metaphor or symbolism rooted in bodily experience, 2) how an artist might experience the act of creation, 3) how a performance of an artistic act may be better understood through analysis of physical skills necessary for that act, 4) how the act of challenging creative boundaries might challenge the capacity of the body, and 5) how representations and perception of the human condition are mediated by technology – “the medium is the message” (Marshal McCluhan, Undertanding Media: the Extensions of Man, 1964). In all of these areas Arts Biomechanics allows a deeper discourse, rooted in the commonality of bodily experience, exploring the relationships between modes of perception and communication of our individual experiences.

Advances in Arts Biomechanics has twelve chapters covering music, dance, and the visual & media arts. It is organized in three parts. The first part, music research, has articles covering fundamental theory, proof of principles, musicians’ health, motor control/learning and its application in practice. Many of these are meaningful for both pedagogy and performance. The second part, dance articles, examines the biomechanics of dancing, kinematics and kinetics, injury prevention, and biomechanical foundations of intercultural representations of gender roles. Finally, two visual & media arts articles discuss motion capture use in performance and artistic creation as well as its communication to an audience, linking bodily gesture to the performative act whether on stage or on canvas. These innovative articles represent advances in thinking regarding biomechanics and the arts. By their very nature, using the tools and methods of science to better understand the visual and performance arts, all are interdisciplinary. We hope that the included articles challenge and inspire researchers and artists in the pursuit of transdisciplinary ways of knowing and creating in the arts.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Role and Management of Tension in Pedagogical Approaches to Piano Technique
(M. A. Michèle Wheatley-Brown, Gilles Comeau, PhD, and Donald Russell, PhD, Pedagogy Research Laboratory, School of Music, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa, Canada, and others)

Chapter 2. Study of Two Stroke Techniques with Transverse Movement of the Right Hand on Classical Guitar Using Surface EMG
(Natalia Diaz Fernández de Monge and Juan Granda Vera, Professional Classical Guitarist, and others)

Chapter 3. Improving Musicians’ Occupational Health: A Proposal for New Perspectives
(Serap Bastepe-Gray, Johns Hopkins University, MA, US)

Chapter 4. Feasibility of Fine Wire Electromyography for Orchestral Viola Tasks
(Leila K. Kelleher, Ryan J. Frayne, Timothy J. Doherty and James P. Dickey, Humber College, Canada, and others)

Chapter 5. Stressing “Unstressed:” Relaxed Emphasis and Lightness in the Flow of Movement – Understanding Meter via Physical Assistance and Supported Metrical Sound Experience in Bowed String Instrumental Performance
(Julia von Hasselbach, University of Freiburg, Germany)

Chapter 6. Mass Balancing Oscillations in the Bowing of Adult Professional Orchestra Violinists: Prevalence, Tempo-Related Profiles and Their Relation to Occupational Health
(Julia von Hasselbach, Wilfried Gruhn and Albert Gollhofer, University of Freiburg, Germany, and others)

Chapter 7. Gender in Dance – An Intercultural and Biomechanical Approach
(Kulkānti Barboza, Fachhochschule Münster, Germany)

Chapter 8. Effects of Long-Term Practice on Coordination between Different Joint Motions in Street Dancers
(Akito Miura, PhD, Kazutoshi Kudo, PhD, Tatsuyuki Ohtsuki, PhD, and Kimitaka Nakazawa, PhD, Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo)

Chapter 9. The Influence of Warm-Up on Ballet Dancers’ Risk of Injury
(Amber Mueller, Pharmacy Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Chapter 10. Landing Kinematics during the Grand Jeté Considering Peak Landing Force
(Yasuyuki Yoshida, Ai Matsuura and Mayumi Kuno-Mizumura, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, and others)

Chapter 11. Realtime Performance Using Biomechanical Gesturing Mediated via Technological Interfaces to Empower an Individual Partial Control of an Aesthetic Experience
(A. William Smith, University of Lethbridge, Canada)

Chapter 12. Movement Sketches, Movement Signatures
(Gongbing Shan, PhD, Professor, Tanya Harnett, Assistant Professor, and Peter Visentin, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Lethbridge, University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada)


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