Playing an instrument


Lunar players

Solar players

Lunar characteristics

Solar characteristics



When describing lunar and solar characteristics we have already mentioned the different ways of seeing and hearing. It stands to reason, therefore, that the findings of terlusollogy can also be applied to all branches of the arts and, of course, music.

When playing an instrument, in addition to a breathing technique that is compatible with your breathing type, a posture that is right for your type is also of crucial importance. The more a musician manages to adopt the right posture for his breathing type, the more brilliant a performance he will give. To the audience he will seem to be completely absorbed in the music.

As a musician begins to take posture and breathing into account, the importance of the right type of breathing, posture etc. becomes clear. This is especially true for singers and players of instruments with hollow mouthpieces (brass wind instruments, alphorn etc.) as the vibrations required to produce the sound are generated by the body.

This is most noticeable with singers. The vibrations are produced by the vocal chords in the body and amplified by the resonant cavities in the skull. These are, therefore, the two fundamental physical characteristics that are required to produce sounds.

In the case of instruments with hollow mouthpieces the vibrations are ‘only’ produced by the vibration of the lips, the amplification takes place in the hollow space of the instrument (tube). Particularly with wind instruments, where a lot of air is required to build up the necessary pressure, it is extremely important to pay attention to the right breathing type.

When music teachers observe their own pupils, who know nothing about this theory, it becomes clear that children tend to breathe according to their type. Lunar types inhale deeper and longer, solar types usually only take short rapid breaths. As wind instrumentalists get older, a number of problems often arise (breathing problems, shoulder and back pain, etc.) which, without treatment, can mean the end of their career. 


The following advice is invaluable, primarily for instrumentalists and singers:

– stand according to type

– breathe according to type

– adopt a posture according to type (legs, arms and head)


Lunar musicians

Lunar types tend to stand with their weight on their right foot and an upright upper body. The plumb line of the upper body’s weight rests on their right heel, the back is hollow where pelvis joins the spine and their knees are stretched. The pelvis is the tranquil zone (contraction, cold zone); upper body, hands and feet like to move frequently as they are in the action zone (expansion, warm zone). Depending on the instrument, the arms holding the instrument are usually bent and held close to the body; the fingers are also bent, again depending on instrument. The body is held upright and the instrument is held high, the eyes therefore tend to look upwards.

The lunar type starts to inhale and actively expands the chest. Then, using his abdominal muscles, he lets the air flow out passively, i.e. without active pressure, through the instrument. As the expanded chest returns to its original position, a natural pressure results that is usually sufficient to make the instrument produce a sound. As lunar types learn and take in music primarily by ear, they need to look at the conductor less frequently than solar types.

The diaphragm is not the muscle that exhales breath, it only moves passively when we breathe and play an instrument.


Solar musicians

Solar types have their strong side on the left and therefore stand with their weight on their left foot. The plumb line of the upper body’s weight rests on the front of their left foot, their upper body is upright but bent slightly forward. The back is rounded where the pelvis joins the lumbar vertebrae and the head is slightly raised.

The solar type exhales actively to allow the air he needs for the next phrase to flow into his lungs passively. He begins to play or sing as soon as the air flows in. He cannot wait for his cue with the air already in his lungs because this can cause tension.  Upper body, hands and feet are motionless, pelvis and neck prefer movement. Solar types do not find it difficult to hold instruments or notes. If the instrument permits, the arms are held somewhat away from the body with the arms bent at an angle of about 45°. The height of the notes is usually lower so that the head is lowered slightly to read the notes.

Summary of characteristics

Lunar type

– He stands on his heels with his weight primarily on his right side

– His upper body, hands and feet move a lot as he plays

– He learns primarily by ear

– He needs less frequent eye contact with the conductor

– An introverted lunar type plays more from within (blows out the air indirectly)

– He starts to play the notes more subtly (softly) than the solar type


The lunar type should make sure that he

– always inhales actively and lets his breath flow out passively 

through the instrument

– allows his lips to vibrate more in the centre

– stretches his lips, especially in the middle

– moves as he plays and feels the phrases


Solar type

– He learns through seeing

– He needs eye contact with the conductor

– He blows actively (directly) through the instrument

– He starts to play the notes more clearly (harshly) than the lunar type


The solar type should make sure that he

– stands on the front of his feet with his weight primarily on his left side

– does not move with his upper body, hands or feet 

– inhales passively and then exhales actively immediately by 

blowing the air through the instrument

– bends his wrists (if possible) to hold the instrument

– stretches his lips towards the corners of the mouth

– does not press the mouthpiece hard against his lips

– produces the sound at the front of the lips

– lowers his head slightly towards the floor.