This paper outlines data on the mean age of death of 8755 musicians (7371 men and 1404 women), who were all of various specializations: composers, conductors, singers, pianists, violinists, organists, etc. Women lived longer than men in all studied categories (p < 0.02). In the male sample, the long-livers were conductors (71.1 years, n = 1435), cellists (70.0 years, n = 260), and violinists (70.0; n = 735), while the shortest life spans were registered for rock musicians (45 years; n = 421) and singer-songwriters (54 years; n = 428). The top long-livers among women were harpists (80.9 years, n = 32), harpsichordists (79.9 years, n = 17), and conductors (79.6 years, n = 24). Meanwhile, the lowest longevity results were associated with women rock musicians (37.7 years, n = 37), singer-songwriters (49.6 years, n = 67), and guitarists (54.4 years, n = 9). Women score significantly higher than men in the relative number of long-livers, with 43.75% of harpists living to the age of 90 and beyond, which also applies to 29.17% of conductors and 19.50% of violinists. Meanwhile, no one has achieved this age in the sample of female rock musicians and guitarists. In the male sample, the 90-year age was achieved by 7.3% of violinists, 6.62% of conductors, and 6.54% of cellists. There were no nonagenarians among the male rock musicians. A correlation was established between a musician’s longevity and public recognition. For example, male composers awarded with the honorable title People’s Artist of Russia (USSR or RSFSR) turned out to live longer by 8.7 years and their female peers lived 18.1 years longer compared to their nonhonored colleagues. Among conductors, the difference was 2.4 years for men and 9.9 years for women; male opera singers lived 5.3 years more and female opera singers lived 6.6 years more than nonhonored vocalists. People’s Artists among male pop singers lived 8 years longer than nonhonored colleagues, and the same difference among female pop singers was more than 20 years (20.1 years).
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Alishev, N.V., Svistov, A.S., Ryzhman, N.N., et al., The indicators of biological age and accelerated aging in liquidators of the consequences of radiation accidents, Usp. Gerontol., 2006, vol. 18, pp. 110–124.
Anisimov, V.N., Molekulyarnye i fiziologicheskie mekhanizmy stareniya (Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Aging), 2 vols., St. Petersburg: Nauka, 2008.
Anisimov, V.N. and Zharinov, G.M., Life span and longevity of people of creative professions, Usp. Gerontol., 2013, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 405–416.
Anisimov, V.N. and Michalski, A.I., Is Noble laureate aging? Mathematical analysis of age and life span of the Noble Prize laureates of 1901–2003s. Usp. Gerontol., 2004, vol. 15, pp. 14–22.
Bashkireva, A.S., The indicators of accelerated aging in automotive drivers, Usp. Gerontol., 2004, vol. 14, pp. 34–43.
Berezkin, V.G. and Bulyanitsa, A.L., Some demographic characteristics of the members of Russian Academy of Sciences in XX century, Usp. Gerontol., 2007, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 29–39.
Bol’shaya russkaya biograficheskaya entsiklopediya (Great Russian Biographic Encyclopedia), Moscow: Biznessoft, 2004.
Wikipedia, free encyclopedia. http://ru.wikipedia.org
Gubler, E.G., Kolichestvennye metody analiza rezul’tatov meditsinskikh issledovanii (Quantitative Analysis of the Medical Study Results), Leningrad: Meditsina, 1978.
Muzykal’naya entsiklopediya (Musical Encylopedia), Moscow: Direkt-Media Publ., 2006.
Dvoretskii, L.I., Muzyka i meditsina: razmyshleniya vracha o muzyke i muzykantskh (Music and Medicine: Reflections of a Doctor about Music and Musicians), Moscow: Ankil, 2007.
Nikitina, V.N., Relationship of early aging and electromagnetic emanations, Klin. Gerontol., 1997, no. 3, pp. 14–18.
Abel, E.L., Kruger, M.M., and Pandya, K., Sopranos but not tenors live longer, Aging Male, 2012, vol. 15, pp. 109–110.
Andreev, E.M., Jdanov, D., Shkolnikov, V.M., and Leon, D.A., Long-term trends in the longevity of scientific elites: evidence from the British and the Russian academies of science, Popul. Stud. (Cambridge), 2011, vol. 65, pp. 319–334.
Bellis, M.A., Hughes, K., Sharples, O., et al., Dying to be famous: retrospective cohort study of rock and pop star mortality and its association with adverse childhood experiences, Br. Med. J. Open, 2012, vol. 2(6), p. e002089. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002089
Brodsky, W., Rationale behind investigating positive aging among symphony orchestra musicians: a call for a new area of empirical study, Music. Sci., 2011, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 3–15.
Evans, H.M., Music, medicine and embodiment, Lancet, 2010, vol. 375(9718), pp. 886–887.
Fitzpatrick, R., Social status and mortality, Ann. Int. Med., 2001, vol. 134, pp. 1001–1019.
Fowler, K.L., The relations between personality characteristics, work environment, and the professional well-being of music therapists, J. Music Ther., 2006, vol. 43, pp. 174–197.
Franceschi, C., Motta, L., Motta, M., et al., The extreme longevity: the state of the art in Italy, Exp. Gerontol., 2008, vol. 43, pp. 45–52.
Hanna-Pladdy, B. and Gajewski, B., Recent and past musical activity predicts cognitive aging variability: direct comparison with general lifestyle activities, Front. Human Neurosci., 2012, vol. 6, Article 198.
Hessler, M., Music medicine. A neurobiological approach, Neuroendocr. Lett., 2000, vol. 21, pp. 101–106.
MacDonald, R.A.R., Music, health, and well-being: a review, Int. J. Qual. Stud. Health (Wellbeing), 2013, vol. 8. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20635
Nunez, M.J., Mana, P., Linares, D., et al., Music, immunity and cancer, Life Sci., 2002, vol. 71, pp. 1047–1057.
Potter, P.J. and Jones, I.C., Medical problems affecting musicians, Can. Fam. Physician, 1995, vol. 41, pp. 2121–2128.
Redelmeier, D.A. and Singh, S., Survival in academy award-winning actors and actresses, Ann. Int. Med., 2001, vol. 134, pp. 955–962.
Schulz-Aellen, M.-F., Aging and Human Longevity, Boston: Birkhauser, 1997.
Spencer, F.J., Premature death in jazz musicians: fact or fiction?, Am. J. Publ. Health, 1991, vol. 81, pp. 804–805.
Staud, R., Survival in academy award-winning actors and actresses: to the editor, Ann. Int. Med., 2003, vol. 1, no. 38, p. 77.
Wan, C.Y. and Schlaug, G., Music making as a tool for promoting brain plasticity across the life span, Neuroscientist, 2010, vol. 16, pp. 566–577.
Original Russian Text © G.M. Zharinov, V.N. Anisimov, 2014, published in Uspekhi Gerontologii, 2014, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 284–290.
About this article
Cite this article
Zharinov, G.M., Anisimov, V.N. Music and longevity. Adv Gerontol 4, 283–289 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1134/S2079057014040225
- mean age of death