Orofacial Muscular Activity and Related Skin Movement During the Preparatory and Sustained Phases of Tone Production on the French Horn

in Motor Control
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This study investigated activity of the embouchure-related orofacial muscles during pre- and postattack phases of sound production by 10 trained French-horn players. Surface electromyogram (EMG) from five selected facial muscles, and related facial skin kinematics were examined in relation to pitch and intensity of a tone produced. No difference in EMGs and facial kinematics between the two phases was found, indicating importance of appropriate formation of preattack embouchure. EMGs in all muscles during the postattack phase increased linearly with an increase in pitch, and they also increased with tone intensity without interacting with the pitch effect. Orofacial skin movement remained constant across all pitches and intensities except for lateral retraction of the lips during high-pitch tone production. Contraction of the orofacial muscles is fundamentally isometric by which tension on the lips and the cheeks is regulated for flexible sound parameter control.

Hirano and Kinoshita are with the Department of Medicine, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan. Kudo and Ohtsuki are with the Department of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.