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Thread: Droplets from playing a wind instrument?

  1. #1

    Droplets from playing a wind instrument?

    I am wondering what's view is with the droplets coming out of wind instruments with relation to covid19. Something doesn't seem to add up to the studies which I've seen so far.

    I don't claim to be an scientist etc. but here's my thought. There is a natural condensation in all instruments in particular brass instruments. With the valved instruments, there's oil on the valves with a bit condensation. Wouldn't the oil be enough to 'kill' any germs? Then what comes out of the water keys of the instrument is mainly natural condensation with a bit oil in it The amount of liquid is so remotely small that the chances of getting sick is almost zero. I get staying maybe 1 meter away possibly especially one isn't playing their instrument and ofcourse stay home if one isn't sick.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    3,293
    I’m certainly no expert either but how easily this virus spreads, I’m not going to take any chances. Having to sit fairly close to each other in a concert band setting, breathing hard, and emptying one’s water keys causes me pause. Tests have shown that the virus can live on metal surfaces for up to 72 hours. Don’t think valve oil would kill the virus... unless you happen to use alcohol as valve oil.

    I understand though that the US Air Force Concert Band, Wash. DC is still holding concerts with players sitting at normal spacing. They stream their concerts with no live audience. In fact they’re playing a concert on July 4th and I hope to watch it. I’d like to know how they’re able to do that without folks getting infected. The latest data suggests that about 40% of positive cases are asymptomatic and able to spread the virus.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  3. #3
    I'm with you, Rick. Being an older guy (72) with mild emphysema and having had a mild heart attack a few years back (stent put in to open blockage), I don't want to take any chances either. I am a rather fearless sort, having been in the military, flown helicopters and airplanes, jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and done just about anything there is that is dangerous, but I always thought I would come through those dangerous things unscathed and usually had myself to rely on. With this crappy virus, nothing is clear or certain, but I for sure do not want to catch it and have myself poop out because of it.

    So, I am having real struggles with myself in opting in or out of the potential upcoming band and orchestra season this fall (everything else cancelled through summer so far). Our orchestra is considering short concerts (no intermission to avoid crowds hanging out) and sized down personnel in the orchestra (perhaps rotating players between concerts or some such thing). Nothing cut in stone yet, mostly just coming up with several different plans and I guess making the call when it gets closer. And of course who is the audience for community orchestras and bands, why old people of course!! So, I don't know how many of them are willing to risk getting infected by coming to an indoor concert.

    It almost seems like the only good solution is a cure for the virus and/or a vaccine that is just about 100% effective. Until then, there is real uncertainty, especially among the vulnerable population.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,293
    You’re right John in that the clientele that attend community band/orchestra concerts are often senior citizens. In S. FL the average age of attendees is around 65 I think.

    By the way, I found out about the Air Force Band still doing concerts when I stumbled on their playing of “The Florentiner March” (Fucik). It’s dated April, 2020. The first person I saw in the video (their principal trumpet player) was Forrest Sonntag. He’s from Jupiter, FL and I know his father Randy pretty well. I emailed him to congratulate him on his son now being principal. He emailed me back and said that the Air Force Band is about the only band still doing live concerts... sans the audience.

    Always loved The Florentiner March. Think it’s one of the longest at about 6 minutes.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    ...He emailed me back and said that the Air Force Band is about the only band still doing live concerts... sans the audience....
    I wonder what the Air Force knows (or doesn't know) that the other services don't know (or know).
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  6. #6
    One article I saw suggested you try to blow out a candle with a trumpet by playing loudly and putting the bell right in front of the candle. We all know that won't work.

    See this video, which is a remarkable demonstration of how little airflow through the horn is required to make notes (no flow, actually):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZvDvuxjHvU&t=3s

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
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    So why not use an outdoor venue? Better air circulation for everyone, and more room to socially distance. I know there are challenges when playing outdoors, but it would seem to cover most of the COVID related ones.
    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sara Hood View Post
    So why not use an outdoor venue? Better air circulation for everyone, and more room to socially distance. I know there are challenges when playing outdoors, but it would seem to cover most of the COVID related ones.
    - Sara
    That sure seems like a better solution. The municipal band I play in during the summer does all of its concerts outdoors. The band plays in a band shell and the audience sits out in the open air. The band is pretty tightly packed inside the bandshell.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yours truly sitting on the far right with a red cloth in my lap.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    One article I saw suggested you try to blow out a candle with a trumpet by playing loudly and putting the bell right in front of the candle. We all know that won't work.

    See this video, which is a remarkable demonstration of how little airflow through the horn is required to make notes (no flow, actually)... (video removed) ...
    Now I have to admit I didn't think this was possible. I truly thought air needed to be blown from your body into the horn. I tried to play a note on my horn by sucking, and almost passed out while my wife laughed at me. Anyone successful in sucking a note out of their horn? Maybe I sucketh incorrecteth.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    197
    I need to watch this video again, because I am not sure that I understood option 3. But an interesting demo none the less. It is nice to know the technical of how our instruments work sometimes.
    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

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