February 11, 2013
The violin is known as the instrument most commonly offered to children by state schools in the UK. It’s a challenging instrument, because rapid independent motion of the digital joints in the left hand is desirable… and a requirement in order to become a top violin player! A brand new study focussed on the pinky finger was designed after an 11-year-old patient volunteered that she had given up playing the violin because of difficulty and discomfort manoeuvring the left small and ring fingers independently. On examination, she was found to have absent FDS (flexor digitorum superficialis) function in the small finger – a condition that can be found in about 6% of the general populaton.
Do you have the ‘flexor digitorum superficialis’?
You can test this right now at home (see also the video below): hold down the index, middle, and ring fingers of your left hand, then try to bend your little finger. Now try it again, but allow your ring finger to bend as well.
Can you do it?
The UK study revealed that about 18 percent of people can do neither!
However, in a group of 90 professional musicians from “three of London’s leading orchestras” (38 first violinists, 33 second violinists, 19 viola players), none lacked this ability, and all but two were able to bend just their pinky finger!!!
Via: The Atlantic