Psychosocial stressors and the short life spans of legendary jazz musicians

Percept Mot Skills. 2000 Apr;90(2):435-6. doi: 10.2466/pms.2000.90.2.435.


Mean age at death of 168 legendary jazz musicians and 100 renowned classical musicians were compared to examine whether psychosocial stressors such as severe substance abuse, haphazard working conditions, lack of acceptance of jazz as an art form in the United States, marital and family discord, and a vagabond life style may have contributed to shortened life spans for the jazz musicians. Analysis indicated that the jazz musicians died at an earlier age (57.2 yr.) than the classical musicians (73.3 yr.).

MeSH terms

  • Family Relations
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Longevity*
  • Music*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • United States