Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Baker


The topic of proper mouthpiece pressure usage has been widely pushed off to the margins of trumpet pedagogy, only receiving the passing mention in a limited number of method books. This research paper contains a cross sectional view of the few, but most prominently used method books in the trumpet community that shows the prevalence of this issue, as well as steps to bring in new and useful information in this field. There are several aspects of mouthpiece pressure that should be studied; however, this paper focuses on its connection to momentary endurance and capillary refill time.

Momentary endurance is a term that references any brass player’s ability to quickly recover stamina during short periods of rest and how long a player can continually play before needing such rest. This phenomenon is something brass players deal with on a regular basis and varies widely from person to person. There are many ways future researchers could seek to understand this variation, but I propose that the most logical approach would be through the study of capillary refill times.

Capillary refill time is a medical term that describes the duration of blanching when pressure is applied and relieved from soft tissue. Blanching is the discoloration of the soft tissue due to lack of blood flow through the capillaries. Brass players are familiar with this occurrence in their own playing through the “white ring” that appears on their lips after removing their mouthpiece from their embouchure. The ring quickly fades back to the skin’s normal state, but at a rate that is unique to that individual. This variation in capillary refill time may have a direct correlation to the amount of mouthpiece pressure being used, as well as to the amount of momentary endurance a player can regain during brief playing rests.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)