Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:The Valsalva maneuver and brass instrument performance: Review and personal account
Author(s):Durkin, Sean
Advisor(s):Pugh, James
Contributor(s):Pugh, James; Carrillo, Teofilo; Taube, Heinrich; López-Ortiz, Citlali
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Subject(s):Valsalva maneuver
glottis closure
throat closure
brass playing technique
brass instrument pedagogy
brass performance impediments,issues and problems
french horn
Abstract:The Valsalva maneuver is a medical term with multiple, conflicting definitions. It was originally used to describe a clinical procedure in 1704. In recent history, the term has been used to describe an impediment in brass instrument performance. The goal of this document is to review the term Valsalva maneuver and clarify the impediment in question. Following a brief overview of breathing mechanics and brass playing, the Valsalva maneuver is discussed in its original, medical context. Here the term can be used to describe three separate phenomena—exhalation against a closed mouth and nostrils, exhalation against a closed glottis, and exhalation that causes specific effects to the cardiovascular system. This collection of definitions, while all related to exhalation, renders the Valsalva maneuver an imprecise and potentially confusing term. In the past century, brass instrument pedagogues have begun using the term to describe undesired glottis closure while playing a brass instrument. In their efforts to understand and explain this phenomenon, new definitions of the Valsalva maneuver have been adopted in the brass playing community. These definitions are accompanied by various, differing views on how to approach and solve the problem. After presenting this information, I detail my personal history with the impediment. This experience includes my initial recognition of the problem and the development of a method used to overcome it. This method does not exist in the current literature, and it raises specific questions that could be valuable to future study.
Issue Date:2019
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Sean Durkin
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-04-10

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