(c) Remy Franck

The risk of transmission by aerosols from an infected person on a wind instrument is generally much lower than for people who sing or speak, according to a new study by the Max Planck Institute and the University Medical Center Göttingen.

A clarinet, the study says, releases considerably more aerosols, which can contain pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, compared to other instruments such as the flute. The researchers determined the particle emission and the associated maximum risk of transmission when playing many different wind instruments. The results provide clues how cultural events can be organized with the lowest possible risk of infection, even during the pandemic.

The riskiest instrument is the voice. Compared to breathing quietly, during singing or speaking infected people release more than 500 times particles into the air, which can contain viruses. When people play music with wind instruments, considerably less aerosol enters the environment than during singing — but still 5 to 50 times more than during breathing,


  • Pizzicato

  • Archives