Detection of Instrument-Technical Playing Problems Precursor to Neurological Hand Control Difficulties in Musicians
This project is part of an endeavor to investigate possible causal biomechanical relationships between individual hand anatomical variations and instrument-technical playing problems precursor to overuse problems or hand control difficulties in musicians. Within this aim, this thesis investigated the feasibility of accurate optical tracking of aberrant playing motion patterns. Taking into account both general optical motion tracking aspects and limitations, and intrinsic playing hand motion characteristics; different marker placement strategies were analyzed and ensuing errors in finger angle determinations due to factors such as skin travel, were modeled and estimated. These results were also experimentally validated by means of a physical mechanically activated articulated finger model. Given the available motion tracking system’s characteristics, parameters such as camera position, marker size and number, as well as tracking volume size were optimized. Necessary camera calibration procedures were laid out. Experiments were conducted both with a six camera, and a ten camera system, demonstrating the feasibility of accurate optical motion tracking of pianistic playing motions in carefully controlled circumstances and restricted tracking volumes. Obtained motion tracking data was furthermore processed to prepare for angle calculation, through cleaning and marker identification with help of a marker configuration table. A strategy for angle calculation programs was developed to prepare for statistical motion analysis and visual display of biometrically parameterized playing hand models.