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Little Etude Nº4: The Girl with the Labile T Waves

Nº4 of seven Little Etudes for beginner and intermediate piano players based on different cardiac electrophysiology aberrations for day 4 of WHRW2020: World Heart Rhythm Week (1-7 June 2020). Etude Nº4 is based on a true story by Professor Emeritus of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Peter Taggart, who shared the story, “I remember a young girl who had labile T waves in her ECG. when someone made a loud noise behind her and  the T waves inverted within a few seconds.

The T wave in the ECG is a marker of when the heart can beat again following a refractory period after the last heartbeat. It normally points in the same direction as the QRS (the heartbeat), but can invert due to cardiac or non-cardiac conditions. This little etude simulates the heartbeat and T waves, and the inversion of the T waves following a loud sound (the clap)! The heart rate is a little faster after the loud sound, but gradually slows to normal again.

Little Etudes for piano