Louis Spohr invented the chin rest in the early 19th century and it has become a standard part of the instrument. The integration of the chin rest into the instrument has to do with the increasingly demanding repertoire of that time. With the help of the chin rest, it allows the left hand more freedom, particularly in vibrato and shifting.
Many students are not aware that the chin rest that came with their instruments might not be a good fit. An ill-fitted chin rest will get in the way of good posture and natural movements and may cause aches, pains, or even injuries.
The height, shape, and position of the chinrest have to be carefully considered when selecting a chin rest as no two individuals have the same physical build-up. Teachers have to be highly alert and quick to recommend changes in the set-up of the instrument when students showed signs of discomfort arising from a bad head angle (twisted neck), skin irritation, or stiff shoulder.
See full articles at "Finding the Right Chin Rest for Violin/Viola" at JustViolin.org
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