Trumpet performance places considerable demands on musicians respiratory and
cardiovascular systems. Previous studies investigating the effects of brass performance on
lung function are contradictory, and there is little data available detailing the
cardiopulmonary responses during a performance. The aim of this thesis is to describe
cardiopulmonary responses using non-invasive techniques before, during and after a
challenging set piece in an elite group of trumpeters as compared to elite non-brass
Fifteen elite trumpeters and 4 elite violinists were studied however one trumpeter was
excluded from analysis. The forced oscillation technique, spirometry and systemic blood
pressure were measured pre- and post-performance of Hindemith’s Sonata for Trumpet and
Piano. Electrocardiogram, pulse oximetry, derived pulse transit time, and transcutaneous
carbon dioxide (TCO2) were continuously measured during performance.
All lung function measures were within normal limits, did not correlate with playing
experience and did not change following the set piece in both groups. Effort-dependant
peak expiratory flow however was reduced post-performance in the trumpeters. Significant
fluctuations in heart rate, pulse transit time and systolic blood pressure were seen during
the trumpet performance only and were consistently associated with breath pattern.
The above results suggest that trumpet performance at an elite level does not have acute or
long-term effects on lung function and gas exchange. Challenging performance however
results in respiratory muscle fatigue and significant fluctuations in cardiovascular measures.
Specific and consistent performance patterns attribute these observations to the demands
and required breath control for trumpet/brass performance without any persistent effect on