Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress in the orchestra: Mood plays a part

Date:
December 30, 2013
Source:
Medical University of Vienna
Summary:
Even professional orchestra musicians suffer from particular stress on the day of the concert and release more cortisol. For the first time, it has now been possible to demonstrate that, amongst others, the enzyme myeloperoxidase, which is regarded as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, plays a part in the stress reaction in musicians. This effect is however dampened by an emotional factor: this is because a good mood reduces the stress-induced release of myeloperoxidase.

The musicians in the first violins and the conductor had on average higher myeloperoxidase levels not only at the dress rehearsal but also in the concert than all the other musicians together.
Credit: Medical University of Vienna

Even professional orchestra musicians suffer from particular stress on the day of the concert and release more cortisol. For the first time it has now been possible to demonstrate that, amongst others, the enzyme myeloperoxidase, which is regarded as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, plays a part in the stress reaction in musicians. This effect is however dampened by an emotional factor: this is because a good mood reduces the stress-induced release of myeloperoxidase.

This is the core result of a current joint study carried out by the Institute for Occupational Medicine at the MedUni Vienna, the MedUni Vienna Biobank (KILM) and the Health and Prevention Centre belonging to the health scheme for the employees of the City of Vienna. Here people are hoping for new approaches in stress research. Meanwhile, at the New Year's Concert in a few days' time, the good mood and high spirits at the start of 2014 ought to have a stress-relieving effect.

The stress reactions in 47 musicians and the conductor of the Austrian radio symphony orchestra, the ORF, were examined at the dress rehearsal and on the following day, the day of the premier, at Vienna's Musikverein. Saliva and blood samples were taken for the purpose of producing a cortisol profile and to measure the myeloperoxidase, which plays a major role in inflammatory processes -- these were taken before and after each performance, as well as during the concert and rehearsal intervals.

More stress for the director and the first violins "The result is clear-cut," says Alexander Pilger from the MedUni's Institute for Occupational Medicine and Robert Winker from the KFA's Health and Prevention Centre. "In the acute stress situation on the day of the concert the myeloperoxidase increases just as clearly as does the overall release of cortisol." In this however -- as well as the inherent stress caused by appearing in front of an audience -- other factors also play a role: "The musicians in the first violins and the conductor had on average higher myeloperoxidase levels not only at the dress rehearsal but also in the concert than all the other musicians together."

And the better the mood the musicians were in according to their own self-assessment, the lower the stress-related rise in myeloperoxidase. And vice versa, the worse their mood, the higher the myeloperoxidase-release in comparison with the dress rehearsal. This trend was also observed with cortisol, but here the influence of the level of excitement played the more significant part.

"The general good mood cannot be explained by the 'dream job' of being an orchestral musician," qualifies Pilger. "Earlier studies have shown that even musicians suffer from boredom and monotony, comparable with other, less exposed occupations. Furthermore, the social stress caused by the orchestral hierarchy is very great.

As well as the biochemical and emotional factors, the factor of "general work ability" was also examined anonymously using the so-called Work Ability Index of the German WAI network with questions on the situation at work, health, previous illnesses and self-assessment of work ability. With the result, according to Pilger that: "Work ability played no role whatsoever with regard to the stress-induced effects observed here." Whether and to what extent these new results are also transferable to other stress situations in the world of work would have to be looked at in further investigations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Pilger, H. Haslacher, E. Ponocny-Seliger, T. Perkmann, K. Böhm, A. Budinsky, A. Girard, K. Klien, G. Jordakieva, L. Pezawas, O. Wagner, J. Godnic-Cvar, R. Winker. Affective and inflammatory responses among orchestra musicians in performance situation. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, December 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi/2013.10.018

Cite This Page:

Medical University of Vienna. "Stress in the orchestra: Mood plays a part." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230101436.htm>.
Medical University of Vienna. (2013, December 30). Stress in the orchestra: Mood plays a part. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230101436.htm
Medical University of Vienna. "Stress in the orchestra: Mood plays a part." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230101436.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins