Between the Ears

The Scalpel and the Bow

The Scalpel and the Bow



Many surgeons like to have music playing while they operate but surely that is where the link between them and musicians begins and ends.

This intriguing programme seeks to explore the similarities between the two groups by putting surgeons through a simulated operation and three cellists through a simulated concert and recording their physiological changes.

Most intriguing though is the mention in the press notes of someone playing “The patient” — how active a role is that going to be?


A comparison between the worlds of medical surgeons and performing musicians, recreating the pressures of the operating theatre and concert halls. The challenges they face are revealed in simulations in which cellists perform with their string quartets and surgeons undertake a vascular procedure. Primary surgeons: Dominic PJ Howard, Alexandra Cope and Yousuf Salmasi. Other members of the surgical team: Dr Aynkaran Dharmarajah (consultant anaesthetist), Kathy Nicholson (scrub nurse), Lilli Cooper, Kat Ford and Howard Tribe (surgical assistants), Alexander Harris (clinical research fellow) and Zinah Sorefan (research technician). The patient: Played by Norma Jones. Cellists: Jane Lindsay, George Ross and Linden Ralph. Other members of the string quartets: Agata Darashkaite, Brigid Coleridge, Christine Anderson, Magdalena Loth-Hill, Louisa Tatlow, Itamar Rashkovsky, Sarah Baldwin and Elijah Spies. Bioharness readings taken by Lisa Aufegger. Sound designer and producer: Lucinda Mason Brown.