Real-time MRI in Brass-players


Many brass-players are familiar with embouchure difficulties and the so-called „Tongue-Stopper“. But what happens exactly in the oral cavity and where does the tension arise which in the worst case might develop into a dystonia later on?




  • Imaging of tongue- and palate movements in brass-players
  • Diagnosis of dysfunction in playing via real-time tomography


Initially the different ways of playing in healthy brass-players are analyzed. In this experiment mouthpieces made of acrylic glass are played with different forms of embouchure.

In the second step we invite brass-players with an embouchure dystonia and try to characterize their clinical symptoms. Afterwards we want to develop exercises to eventually ease and cure the disorder.


  • This project is still in the pilot phase

Contact persons

  • 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:


If you are a professional brass-player and would like to participate in this non-invasive study – please contact Prof. Altenmüller via this e-mail-adress:


Last modified: 2015-12-09

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