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Medical Problems of Brass Instrumentalists: Prevalence Rates for Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, and Low Brass

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This study examined the medical problems of musicians who primarily perform on a brass instrument. Data for this study (n = 739) were extracted from the University of North Texas Musician Health Survey data set. Subjects were included if they indicated either trumpet, trombone, French horn, or low brass as their primary instrument. Prevalence rates for one or more musculoskeletal problems were determined for the whole group and by instrument. For those subjects who reported problems at specific sites, average severity levels were derived from responses to a five-point grading scale. Additional prevalence rates for non-musculoskeletal problems were established for the whole group and by instrument. About 60% of the brass musicians reported having one or more musculoskeletal problems. The trombone group reported the highest rate (70%), followed by French horn and low brass (62%), and then trumpet (53%). Results suggest unique physical performance requirements and risks across the four main brass instrument groups and that future studies should examine each brass instrument group individually.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsĀ is the first clinical medical journal devoted to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of medical and psychological disorders related to the performing arts. Original peer-reviewed research papers cover topics including neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, voice and hearing disorders, anxieties, stress, substance abuse, and other health issues related to actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and other performers.
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