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October 2021

Computed tomography of humans and bowed stringed instruments. Some interesting similarities

Author(s): Waddle, J. R.

Journal/Book: Minn Med. 1999; 82: 51-3.

Abstract: We have used computed tomography to evaluate bowed stringed instruments and have noted interesting analogies with CT scans of humans. In humans, CT commonly detects a broad range of normal anatomic variations. Similarly, CT of violins and cellos demonstrates a wide range of normal structural variations. CT, often used to detect infections in humans, also detects defects from wood infestations. In humans, the unrelenting effect of gravity causes deformity of the demineralized spine. In old stringed instruments, plastic deformity of wood results from unrelenting string pressure. Trauma causes bone fractures in humans and wood fractures in bowed stringed instruments, and repairing fractures in both humans and stringed instruments requires various splitting devices. In summary, CT provides the physician and the luthier with a unique, noninvasive tool that can characterize the broad range of normal structures, pathological conditions, and repair.

Keyword(s): Fractures/radiography. Human. Music. Tomography, X-Ray Computed. Wood

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