Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2006

Full Length Research Paper

The effect of playing different musical instruments on arm asymmetry

E. Erdem KAYA
  • E. Erdem KAYA
  • Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 05 October 2015
  •  Published: 23 October 2015


Between the two hemispheres of the brain, structural and functional differences are called cerebral lateralization that can affect the skill performance of both arms in a different way, which is called handedness. Approximately 90% of people is right-handed and they use the right hand for most skillful activities. Interestingly, recent studies especially on musicians show that this difference is less in musicians than in non-musicians and musicians have better skillful performance compared to non-musicians in hand skill task. However, there is no study with the arms performance stated if this also depends on the type of playing instruments. Thus, the purpose of this study was to search if playing different kind of musical instrument, string and piano, can alter the arm asymmetry. Besides, it was also questioned whether string and piano players overall have less asymmetry compared to non-musicians. 30 right-handed participants from three groups (10 from each group) took part and were asked to reach one of three targets in front of them with either right or left arms. Their movements accuracy and linearity were analyzed by electromagnetic movement tracker system (please see method section). As a result, similar results were obtained with previous studies. A significant difference was not seen in the use of arms of musicians who play piano and string instruments. On the other hand, it was found that musicians make use of their arms better compared to non-musicians with their both arms. Thus, playing musical instrument can decrease the arm asymmetry regardless of the type of the instrument.

Key words: Interlimb difference, lateralization, arm asymmetry, musicians.