Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Eckart Altenmüller

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)


  • Prof. Dr. Eckart Altenmüller

    Professor of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine, Director of the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine (IMMM)

    Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine
    Neues Haus 1, 30175 Hannover
    Schiffgraben 48

    Phone: +49 (0)511 3100-553
    More information:

Last modified: 2023-02-14

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