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 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD
Author: sylvangale 
Date:   2006-10-25 15:43


The Secret Weapon for
Respiratory Health

by Kathy Wechsler

Did you know that singing or playing a musical instrument is good for your respiratory system? Don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about the drums, piano or guitar.

From the trumpet to your vocal cords, any instrument that takes lung power may help you maintain or improve breathing.

If your respiratory muscles are strong enough to let you speak, you can probably sing or play a horn, say respiratory therapists who work with people served by MDA. Plus, it’s fun, easy, and it beats the heck out of any other form of exercise. And you don’t even have to be musically talented to receive respiratory benefits from this type of exercise.

“Anything that I can do to get my patients to take a good sustained breath is good for them,” says Jerry Reynolds, a respiratory therapist (RT) at Ohio State University in Columbus who’s seen people with neuromuscular diseases benefit from singing or playing an instrument that requires lung power.

“That’s a known, proven fact,” Reynolds says.


How Much Is Too Much?

Don’t overdo it, Reynolds cautions. With most forms of exercise, there’s a fine line between doing too little and doing too much. With a neuromuscular disease, too much exercise can actually weaken your muscles, but you need enough exercise to keep them active. Singing or playing an instrument is no different.

“Overdoing it” causes your respiratory muscles to weaken. To prevent this from happening, Reynolds suggests that you pay attention to how much you can do before you start feeling fatigued. When you start to tire, it’s time to stop.



the claim that the playing of wind instrument might predispose to the development of pulmonary emphysema has never been confirmed (Bouhuys, 1964; Lucia, 1994). Rather, emphysema has been proved to be connected to smoking habits, to chronical respiratory disease and to genetically-related disposition (Snider, 1994). On the other hand, patients with respiratory problems who have music as an occupation are more likely to experience symptoms triggered by the demands imposed by performance. Similarly, wind players will tend to notice more clearly the physiological modifications associated with aging.

Arend Bouhuys probably contributed most importantly to the present knowledge on physiology of wind instrument playing. He studied pressure, airflow, sound power, efficiency, CO2 variations, heart rates, and other aspects (Bouhuys, 1964, 1965, 1968). Using a pneumograph he assessed qualitatively lung volume variations and also discussed some respiratory techniques, such as circular breathing (Bouhuys, 1964).

Based on the fact that blowing pressure in the observed brass instruments presented wider ranges than in woodwinds, Bouhuys hypothesised that mouth pressure control would be more important for those instruments than in any other type of winds. It must be borne in mind, however, that in brass instruments, where the lips serve as the oscillating reeds, the lip tension control is as important as the expiratory pressure. In woodwind, the embouchure, i. e. the link between the player’s mouth and the instrument (see below), is also very relevant, although it does not affect the pitch to the same critical extent as in brass instruments.



♫ Stephen K.

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 Topics Author  Date
 Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
Caroline Bloss 2006-10-20 21:20 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
JRJINSA 2006-10-20 21:33 
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Caroline Bloss 2006-10-24 16:08 
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ohsuzan 2006-10-20 22:40 
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Caroline Bloss 2006-10-24 16:25 
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Dutchy 2006-10-21 04:36 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
Caroline Bloss 2006-10-24 16:34 
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d-oboe 2006-10-21 12:39 
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vboboe 2006-10-22 00:05 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
Caroline Bloss 2006-10-24 16:38 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
sylvangale 2006-10-22 05:48 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
lucyw 2006-10-22 20:10 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
sylvangale 2006-10-25 15:43 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
ohsuzan 2006-10-25 18:54 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
d-oboe 2006-10-29 13:23 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
oboist 2006-10-29 17:12 
 Re: Oboe and emphysema or COPD  new
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