Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Eckart Altenmüller

former Head of the Department

  • born 1955 in Rottweil, Germany

Research interests

  • Establishment of a supra-regional special outpatient clinic for musicians' disorders in Hanover
  • Teaching at the University of Music in the field of prevention of musicians' disorders
  • Research activity in the field of movement control of instrumentalists and on changes in cerebral activity during musical learning
  • completed DFG-projects on sensorimotor control of piano playing, on cerebral processing of temporal structures, on changes in music perception after strokes
  • completed DFG project on emotion in acoustic communication
  • DFG project on the comparison of dystonia in musicians and athletes
  • extended EFRE-project on stroke rehabilitation through movement sonification


  • 1992 - Habilitation for the subject neurology. Topic: "Cortical DC potentials as brain-electrical correlates of language functions: "physiology and pathophysiology".
  • 1991 Recognition as a physician for neurology
  • 1989-1990 - Training at the Psychiatric University Hospital Tübingen
  • 1985-1991 - Residency at the Neurological University Hospital Tübingen, Director Prof. Dr. med. J. Dichgans; scientific work mainly in the field of electrophysiology and neuropsychology
  • 1985 - Graduation from music studies with the artistic maturity examination; since then continued concert activity
  • 1983 - medical license
  • 1981-1983 - Doctoral thesis in the Department of Neurophysiology at the University of Freiburg: Electromyographic studies on gait development in healthy and cerebralparetic children
  • 1979 - Continuation of medical studies in Tübingen, at the same time study of music at the University of Music Freiburg (main subject flute, class Nicolèt, later class Bennett)
  • 1978-1979 - Medical studies in Paris, Facultè de Médecine, Hôtel-Dieu
  • 1974 - Medical studies at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen

Work experience

  • 1994-present - Full Professor, Head of the Department of Music-Physiology and Musician’s Medicine at the University for Music and Theater, Hannover; ontinued research on brain processing of music and motor learning in musicians
  • 1992-1994 - Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen
  • 1985-1992 - Assistant of Prof. Dr. J. Dichgans, Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, Clinical training in neurology. Research on auditory processing and motor systems in musicians
  • 1983-1985 - Research assistant of Prof. Richard Jung Department of clinical neurophysiology, Freiburg, Research on brain activation during music-processing and on motor-learning of skilled movements

Awards and funding

  • 2021 - Neuroscience of Music Award of the Mariani Foundation
  • 2020 - Koetser Award for Brain Sciences
  • 2013 - Lower Saxony Science Award
  • 1992 - Kornmüller Award of the German Society for Clinical Neurophysiology
  • 1975-1982 - Scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation

Memberships and miscellaneous

  • 2015-2021: Part-time Vice President "Sciences" of the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media
  • 2006-2012: President of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikphysiologie und Musiker-Medizin (DGfMM), since 2012 vice president

Membership in the following societies, among others:

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurologie
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikpsychologie
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikphysiologie und Musiker-Medizin
  • European Society of Cognition in Music (ESCOM)
  • Movement Disorders Society
  • Göttinger Akademie der Wissenschaft (since 2005)


    Last modified: 2024-04-30

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