Researchers at the ANU have designed a support stand to alleviate a specific cause of overuse strain in professional and recreational musicians by relieving the weight of the instrument from the musician's neck, shoulders and arms.
Musculoskeletal and overuse injury is a significant problem for professional and recreational musicians. Overuse injuries are a significant problem for both professional and recreational musicians. The prevalence of injury and its effect on performance is believed to be significantly under reported due to the negative impacts for suffers. One study of symphony orchestras indicated that 64-76% of were suffering from repetitive strain injuries. In more general studies prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders has been reported as between 25-95% with up to 37% suffering musculoskeletal disorders that are serious enough to affect performance.
Researchers from the ANU School of Music and the ANU Research School of Physics & Engineering have designed a support stand that will help relieve the weight of brass instruments from the musician's neck, shoulder and arms during practice and performance. The support stand for the saxophone has been developed as the first in a series of products that aims to reduce the prevalence of overuse straing in professional and recreational musicians. The support stand consists of an adjustable height upright with a pivoting, counterbalanced 'head' that is connected to the instrument and allows free movement. The design can disassembled for transport or storage.
In addition to the current product for the saxophone the research team is developing a pipeline of products that apply the same concept to other instruments and/ or address other functional issues that musicians have when practicing or performing. The potential designs for the device and the adaptability of this initial model also allows for bassoon, bass clarinet, and clarinet, as well as alto and tenor saxophone.