Circulatory effects of trumpet playing

"Circulatory Effects of Trumpet Playing" (British Medical Journal - 1959) details a self-experiment by a professional trumpet player to determine the best position in which to play the trumpet to avoid blacking out while playing high loud notes. He determines that laying down flat offers the most blackout protection.

Another curious detail from the article: his suggestion that trumpeters in orchestras could avoid blackout by wearing pressure suits "which could be surreptitiously inflated by a switch on the conductor's desk."



It is well known among professional trumpeters that playing high loud notes for more than a few seconds may cause dizziness or occasionally 'black-out.' Indeed, many leading orchestras carry an assistant or 'mate' to take over from the first trumpet in prolonged difficult passages...

Apart from the discomfort of occasional dizzy sensations or black-outs, trumpet players are not likely to come to any harm. Vasodilation from heat or previous hyperventilation will exaggerate the effects of a given intrathoracic pressure. It is better to sit than stand, but the strict supine posture, which would be better still, seems hardly feasible. For orchestras in severe financial difficulties it might be possible to dispense with the assistant or 'mate' if the trumpeter wore a pilot's pressure-suit, which could be surreptitiously inflated by a switch on the conductor's desk.
Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 28, 2017
Category: Music, Science





Comments
A supine trumpeter could really "lay down a riff."
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 11/28/17 at 09:51 AM
I was always amazed by the style of Dizzy Gillespie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvIXzeDLpMw

Music starts at about 1:45.
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 11/28/17 at 02:55 PM
Or .......they could play a litter quieter.
Posted by Muddyvalley in McMinnville on 11/28/17 at 03:39 PM