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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Perils of Trumpeting

This is an article by Charles R. Meyer, M.D. from the Minnesota Medical Association, February 2003 / Volume 86.

The Perils of Trumpeting

Trumpet playing subjects the respiratory system to high, sometimes harmful pressures, and is a workout for even the most well-conditioned lips and agile tongues.

by Charles R. Meyer, M.D.

In 1999, Adolph Herseth, the dean of symphonic trumpeters, celebrated his 50th anniversary as the first-chair trumpeter in the Chicago Symphony. Herseth, now retired from the orchestra, was the stocky trumpet player seated at the back of the orchestra whose face turned deeper shades of crimson as his notes climbed higher. This deepening facial plethora looked very unhealthy, yet it belied durability unrivaled in brass instrumentalists. Herseth’s red face also belied an awesome ease with which he navigated even the most devilish demands of the trumpet repertoire. But it raises the question: How healthy is trumpet playing for the player?