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An Investigation of Heart Response during Trumpet Playing


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Hunsaker, L.
Journal Title: PhD Dissertation, University of North Texas
Date Published: 1993
Language: English
Category: Anatomical, Physiological & Historical Research
Key Words: heart response trumpet performance dissertation North Texas
Full Citation: Hunsaker, Leigh Anne. An Investigation of Heart Response during Trumpet Playing. PhD diss., University of North Texas, 1993.
Full Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of trumpet playing upon the heart. A Holter monitor was used to record electrocardiograms (ECGs) to examine the heart's response during musical performances and practice sessions. The study design included two phases: a comparison of the heart rate at rest and while playing a standard etude and a comparison of heart response while playing selected music in both practice and performance situations. An analysis of the ECGs was performed by a cardiologist and an ECG technician, who examined both the heart rate and the regularity of the heart rhythm. Results of the first phase of the study showed that the heart rate during trumpet playing was significantly higher (p<.0001) than when resting. In the second phase of the study, all but one subject had a faster heart rate during a performance than when practicing the same music. The medical professionals evaluated the ECGs, medical history, and daily activity logs of subjects to characterize ECG changes as induced by the instrument playing, or as caused by other means. Disturbances in the heart rhythm were more common and more pronounced in performances than in practice. Dramatic, but temporary changes in the heart's rate and rhythm were recorded during trumpet playing. No adverse effects to the cardiovascular system were attributed to trumpet playing. In addition to the above findings, the ECGs were examined for evidence of a cumulative increase in stress upon the heart during practice sessions. The subjects were instructed to use their customary warm up and to continue practicing in their normal manner. Because information on the routine demands of trumpet playing was desired, the practice procedures and materials were not dictated. A comparison of the first and last five minutes of each practice session showed little change in heart rate or rhythm. No cumulative effect of trumpet playing was found in the heart response of these subjects.