New chair could help orchestra musicians play better, avoid injuries

Posted on: June 13, 2012

Tuesday (6/12) on Wired.com, Liat Clark writes, “An art professor has designed an orchestra chair that could help make musicians better performers. The design is centred on the idea that good posture can solve a manner of evils—backache associated with sitting for long periods of time and poor breathing techniques that can inhibit a musician’s ability to play well. ‘It’s well established among musicians that a good understanding of proper posture and breathing improve sound quality and are directly linked to exceptional instrument control and mastery,’ said the chair’s designer, assistant professor David Brothers of the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Art and Design. ‘What is less understood is the influence of chair design on the ability to achieve these goals.’ … What became immediately obvious to [Brothers], after 18 months of observing and interviewing professionals, was that musicians playing completely different instruments probably shouldn’t be sitting in identical chairs. In an ideal world a musician’s chair would not only be tailored to the instrument they play, but to their individual posture and body movements. [Brothers] envisaged just that—a lightweight carbon fiber chair, its triangular frame sturdy enough to offer support during performances, that can be tilted forward to reduce pressure on backward pelvic rotation and has adjustable lumbar support.”

Posted June 13, 2012