Left/right brain integration/Strings

RenE J.V. Bertin bertin at NeurEtV.biol.ruu.nl
Sat Dec 28 10:58:30 EST 1996

On 25 Dec 1996, Alan S Moore (or was it Ginny?) wrote:

8-) In <59rm40$m90 at shellx.best.com> rlk at best.com (rlk) writes: 
8-) >The violinist has his left ear quite close to the instrument and the
8-) right
8-) >ear relatively far away.  It would be interesting to compare pitch
8-) >discrimination in the two ears of violinists.  (Or has that been
8-) done?)
8-) >
8-) Actually I vaguely recall a study of which ear dominated in trained
8-) musicians, in general.  By recollection, it was left dominant, but I'd
8-) say there's only a 50% chance of this being true (at best) :-) 

     Someone else already pointed out that both ears project to both brain-
     halves, although that doesn't rule out a left/right dominancy (after
     all, we do have directional hearing). Out of personal experience, I
     know that there is a difference in both ears in violinists: usually,
     the left ear is - errr - more adapted to the louder sound-volume
     resulting from being so close to the instrument....

8-) However, violinists ear preference would not be relavant as to why
8-) cellists, bassists, er-hu, oud and gadulka players have the left hand
8-) doing the pitch oriented work.  It's an interesting topic tho.

     Is this a joke? I'd suppose that the same underlying principle is
     responsible.. and cello/bass players do have their left ear closer to
     the instrument (at least the strings..): I've often seen 'em hold that
     ear even closer to fine-check intonation.

     All this discussion about cultural reasons made me realise that there
     is of course a parallel between (at least) the plucked instruments,
     and bows (as in shooting arrows ;). And of course (but why...?), bows
     are usually held in the left hand, and "plucked" with the right.
     Because, again, the coordination needed in the right hand (which is
     responsible for almost everything except crude aiming (?) in arching)
     is far greater than in the left? Accidently, at least one family of
     bowed instruments, the viole da gamba, evolved from a plucked
     instrument, the vihuela.

| RenE J. V. Bertin            http://WWW.NeurEt.biol.ruu.nl 

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