Christoph Wagner - music physiology  

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1931 ... Born 20 May in Marburg (Germany)
1952 – 1957 Medical studies in Marburg, Mainz and Munich, here also psychology.
1958  Ph.D. in medicine. Resident at the psychiatric clinic of the University Medical Center Mainz.
1958 – 1963 Music studies in Detmold (Germany) - main subject conducting with Martin Stephani, piano with Renate Kretschmar-Fischer, composition with Günter Bialas
1964 ... Beginning of systematic research in the field of instrumental music pedagogy at the "Max-Planck-Institut für Arbeitsphysiologie", Dortmund.
Point of departure is the development of instrument-specific methods of research
- to cast light on essential organic preconditions for playing an instrument (e.g. hand characteristics)
- to visualize physiological processes while playing (e. g. tension of muscles), as well as
- to objectify musical-technical mastery on the instrument (e. g. rhythmic precision in piano performance).
First focus of research becomes the biomechanical examination of musician's hands with participation of approx. 1000 instrumentalists of German universities of music and orchestras. Later worldwide patent of the Biomechanical Hand Measurement (BHM). Development of the individual hand profile.
In addition systematic studies on rhythmic precision of professional pianists with a measuring piano (rebuilt Bechstein grand piano).
1974 ... Professor at the Hanover University for Music and Drama. Foundation and direction of the "Institute for Experimental Music Pedagogy". Research and teaching of music physiology is for the first time established at a European university of music. "Physiological principles of instrumental playing" becomes a required subject in the course of study of later instrumental teachers. Cooperation within the university to develop the subject in connection with numerous experimental projects in the field of instrumental pedagogy.
1976 ...  Establishing of a (Germany-wide) consultation for musicians for hand problems at the Hanover University of Music. Cooperation with the "German-speaking working group for surgery of the hand" (DAH).
1976-1983 Further methodological development of the biomechanic hand diagnostic and of the objectification of musical-technical ability. Modification of a Steinway grand piano with measuring technique for pitch, duration, dynamics. Promotion of the projects by Volkswagen Foundation and also within the special research field 54 of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
1979 ... Establishing of the term "Music Physiology" and renaming of the Hanover institut into "Institute of Music Physiology". Guest lectures and seminars at universities in Germany and abroad, at music schools and at symposia of associations like VdM (Association of German music schools), ESTA and EPTA (founding member). Since 1986 regular exchange of ideas with the lecturers of piano methodology of German universities for music ("Talks of Saarbrücken").
1983-1993 Model studies under various aspects: Comparative studies on manual conditions with successful and healthy instrumentalists on the one hand and problematic cases on the other hand. Comparative studies on the influence of age and ethnic affiliation on the hands of instrumentalists (students of universities and of music schools). Studies on strength of fingers of pianists. First longitudinal study with violin students on physical changes of the hand during education. First objective analysis of the force progression during piano touch. Studies together with Frank R. Wilson (San Francisco) on biomechanics of the hands of instrumentalists with Focal Dystonia. Objectification of rhythmic and dynamic skills on the piano with professional pianists. Strong increase of consultation of musicians with hand problems.
1988/89 Visiting chair at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
1991 ... Foundation of the working group "Doctors for Musicians", Hanover, to improve the health care of musicians with job-related medical problems.
1992 ... First International and Interdisciplinary Symposium in Germany with the topic: "Medical Problems of Instrumentalists - Causes and Prevention" (published by Laaber 1995).
1993 ... Retirement and transfer of the "Institut of music physiology" to the neurophysiologist Prof. Dr. med. Eckart Altenmüller.
1994 ... Co-founder and president of the "German Association of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine" (DGfMM), honorary member since 2001.
2005 ... "Hand und Instrument - Musikphysiologische Grundlagen. Praktische Konsequenzen" (Breitkopf & Härtel, 368 pp.) summarizes the research results about the musician's hand and describes ways of application in practice.
2009 ... The Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) assumes the measuring devices as well as the data base of the Biomechanic Hand Measurement (BHM) from Hanover. At the "Zurich Centre for Musicians' Hands" (ZZM), embedded in the department of music physiology, musician's medicine and health prevention of the ZHdK, musician's hand research is continued. It is applied in the consultation of musicians and connected with the research to motor learning of the Collegium Helveticum of the Swiss Federal Institut of Technology Zurich (ETH) and the University of Zurich (UZH).
... 2013
died 30 August in Isernhagen (Germany)