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January 2022

Pulmonary function in singers and wind-instrument players

Author(s): Teirstein, A. S., Brown, L. K., Miller, A.

Journal/Book: Chest. 1985; 88: 201-5.

Abstract: Previous studies suggest that pulmonary function of singers and wind-instrument players may be better than normal control subjects due to breath-control training; however, prior studies were poorly controlled or limited in scope. In the present study, we compare 34 singers and 48 wind instrumentalists with a control group of 31 string or percussion instrumentalists using a pulmonary questionnaire, measurements of inspiratory and expiratory pressures, and spirometry. We found no significant difference between groups in maximum voluntary ventilation, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), mean forced expiratory flow during the middle half of the FVC, the FEV1/FVC, peak expiratory pressure, or peak inspiratory pressure, independently or when corrected for age, sex, height, weight, years performing, smoking, presence or absence of cough, or sputum production. Smoking correlated negatively with measurements of pulmonary function in all groups. There was evidence of a heightened awareness of health among singers, who exercised more and smoked less than their colleagues. The differences in health habits may account in part for the myth of improved pulmonary volumes among singers.

Keyword(s): Lung|PH. Music|. Voice|

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