Dystonic tremor and task-specific tremor in musicians


Focal Dystonia is one of the most severe impairments for musicians. However, the phenomenon of dystonic tremor has not been quantified yet. Therefore, we aim to describe the properties of dystonic tremor in musicians.

A further tremor entity is the task-specific tremor in musicians, occurring at the same time with or independently of dystonia. Particularly frequently, the bow-arm in string-players is affected. Again, our goal is to characterize the task-specific bowing tremor.

Examining musicians with focal dystonia, in some patients a tremor can be observed during a slow flexion-extension finger movement both in the affected and the non-affected finger. This tremor seems to occur subject to the position of the finger, with an increased amplitude in extended and flexed posture. Being already described for dystonic tremor in general, we want to examine the sensory trick-phenomenon with regard to dystonic tremor in musicians.




  • describing the properties of dystonic tremor (frequency, amplitude, position dependence)
  • describing the properties of task-specific bowing tremor


  • accelerometry
  • EMG
  • questionnaires




  • Lee, A., Altenmüller, E. Primary task-specific bowing tremor: an entity of its own? Med Probl Perform Art. 2012 Dec;27(4):224-6.

Contact persons


    For the project, 3 healthy professional violinists aged 50 to 62 years. The measurement consists of playing on open strings and a G major scale and will last approximately one hour. An allowance of 15 Euro will be paid.




    Last modified: 2015-12-09

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