IJCH 2017 Vol.3(4): 250-255 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2017.3.4.108

My Stradivarius is Making Me Sick: A Luthier’s Ethnography of Tradition and Injury

Ray Archee
Abstract—Why are musicians some of the most unhealthy of all the performing artists compared to singers, dancers, actors, performance artists, and public speakers? Is it their temperament, their longevity, their inherently weaker bodies, or some other factor? The author’s background is as a luthier and guitar player. Using an ethnographic approach, this paper suggests that it some musicians’ reliance on traditional instruments and old-fashioned practice habits that is causing physical health problems, and that this behaviour is largely due to conservatism, misunderstanding, and myth. It is argued that these attitudes need to be changed so that some musicians can remain healthy in order to function at an optimal level. Several recommendations are suggested.

Index Terms—Ethnography, luthier, guitar, injury, health.

R. Archee is with Western Sydney University, Australia (e-mail: r.archee@westernsydney.edu.au).

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Cite: Ray Archee, "My Stradivarius is Making Me Sick: A Luthier’s Ethnography of Tradition and Injury," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 250-255, 2017.

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