[Dixielandjazz] Dr. Jazz; Jazz Health?

drjz drjz@bealenet.com
Tue, 24 Sep 2002 14:42:53 -0400

Dear Dan (and others),
No, you are not "just blowing hot air". To answer your last question first, I doubt whether anyone has done any valid research on the idea of  "jazz health", which is, nevertheless, a fascinating topic. Having practiced, and taught, preventive medicine for almost my entire career, I can say that medicine is predominantly disease oriented. To see one case of a rare disease in medical school is far more exciting than trying to keep a lot of people well. I know this applied to me in my student days.
To be more specific, to investigate this anecdotal theory would require adherence to the statistical norm of any scientific study, i.e. two randomly selected groups (experimental and control) in sufficient numbers and matched, at least, by age, sex, race, education, and other (how many?) appropriate variables, tested for true significance.
I have a book entitled "Occupational Marks" that contains 4 pages of text, and 6 of illustrations, pertaining to musicians. I wonder if you have the tuba players' "thick callus on [your] right little finger tip", as opposed to the French horn players' "same callus but on the left little finger tip"!?
On my next visit to my medical school library, I shall review "Index Medicus" for any publications. There could be something in "Medical Problems of Performing Artists" , a journal sponsored by the burgeoning specialty of the arts and medicine. All the best.
Dan Augustine wrote:

> >From: drjz <drjz@bealenet.com>
> >Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 11:21:52 -0400
> >
> >Dear Rebecca,
> >Your affliction with the "Jazz Disease" intrigues me because I came upon
> >this phrase recently used in a more concrete manner  I had an email
> >interview with a journalist in Brazil about my book "Jazz and Death".
> >One question was whether there was a "tendency to certain diseases among
> >jazz musicians" from factors associated with playing jazz. I replied
> >that there were certainly some environmental elements, other than those
> >dealt with in occupational medicine (instrument, etc), that affect(ed)
> >the health of jazz artists, and referred him to my book for further
> >details. The next question was "Can we call them 'Jazz diseases'?" My
> >answer was "No!" Most afflictions of jazz players reflect those of the
> >general population, with the exception of substance abuse in some eras
> >and cases. Cheers.
> **-------------------------------------------------------------------**
> Dr. Jazz (and others)--
>     Is there any evidence to support the notion that some jazz players may be, in fact, healthier than their non-jazz counterparts (given the same body types, habits, etc.)?  For example, would woodwind and brass players, because of using their respiratory systems more extensively, have healthier lungs for that reason?  Some piano players and conductors seem to be very fit in their upper bodies, perhaps because of the actions of their arms in playing and conducting. String bass players might have impressive calluses on their fingers, allowing them to pick up hot objects (roll your own jokes here).  Is there such a thing as 'Jazz Health" (instead of 'Jazz Disease'?)  Has anyone done any research in this area, or am i just blowing hot air?  (As usual, but as a tuba player with a 6-liter lung-capacity, it's a LOT of hot air....)
>     Dan
> --
> **----------------------------------------------------------**
> ** Dan Augustine - ds.augustine@mail.utexas.edu             **
> ** Office of Admissions, University of Texas; Austin, Texas **
> **----------------------------------------------------------**
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