Ergonomics of brass playing

What effect do ergonomic supports for brass instruments really have on postural muscle activity?

All brass instruments present postural challenges, with one arm and hand bearing the weight of the instrument while the other operates the valves or the slide. These challenges have only been made greater by recent developments in instrument design which often increase their weight. Though ergonomic supports are available for many woodwind and stringed  instruments, it is only recently that they have come on the market for brass instruments. Though brass musicians show some reluctance to use such aids, they may have an important role to play in rehabilitation after injury or in prevention of the development of postural problems in young players. Ergonomic supports for brass (like those for most other instruments) have been developed empirically and our objective is to use electromyography in order to provide an objective assessment of the effect on postural muscle activity of commercially available ErgoBrass harnesses in sitting and standing players.

 If you would like more information about this study, please contact Kevin Price ( or Alan Watson (


Conservatoires UK