The Functional Interdependence of Wind Instrumentalists’ Embouchure and Their Craniofacial Features

Miguel Pais Clemente, José Manuel Amarante, André Moreira, Afonso Pinhão Ferreira, Ricardo Vardasca, Joaquim Mendes

Abstract


The criteria of performing a correct embouchure can differ according to particular craniofacial features. Different teaching techniques can also lead to specific patterns of a musician embouchure, where playing in a relaxed position is one of the major indications. In order to understand if there is a “perfect embouchure”, several techniques were used on the analysis of the embouchure of three different wind instrumentalists. Force sensing resistors were applied to the mouthpiece of a clarinet, infrared thermography was performed to a brass player, while a bassoon player underwent two lateral cephalograms. The examinations techniques were chosen to take advantage of the possible information that could be taken from each musician, on addition to the evidence of the intra-oral exam. The force analysis showed that the clarinetist had an asymmetrical force distribution among the two central incisors. The infrared thermography showed that the tuba player had thermal asymmetry at the region correspondent to the masseters muscles possibly related to the teeth position. The lateral cephalograms showed a 10° posterior rotation of the mandible during the embouchure of the bassoon player. Therefore, understanding the anatomical limitations of the orofacial region, which may lead to an asymmetrical embouchure, is fundamental to analyze and treat a wind instrumentalist within a dental appointment.


Keywords


embouchure, infrared thermography, lateral teleradiography force sensing re-sistor, wind instrumentalists

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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