JMT Web News


October 10, 2020 3:29 PM

Most Wind Instruments Proved Safe In Concert Amid Pandemic

After experts in Berlin indicated appropriate social distance in classical music concert as 1.5 meters space between individual stringed instrument players, and 2 meters space between individual wind instrument players last May, classical music concert was only held in Japan under strict control of the guidance until September. Japanese Government recently lifted the restriction, and classical music concert is now held under the equivalent conditions to the days before the coronavirus started to spread.

Japan Association of Classical Music Presenters and Japan Academic Society of Wind Music worked together last August to examine how instrument players and audience can keep themselves safe in musical performance. They measured droplets of players and audience seated consecutively and in every odd of a row of their dispersion level and distance.
The test was held under guidance of the experts at a clean room of Shin Nippon Air Technologies Co., Ltd. in Chino, Nagano Pref.

A total of 40 orchestra members of NHK Philharmonic Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, New National Theatre, Tokyo Chorus and The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo, and a 30-member medical team, experts and engineers joined the test. It’s considered the test results obtained in an unventilated clean room may be a little worse than circumstances of ordinary ventilated concert halls.

Here are results the participated group came by the test.
The subject instruments included flute, oboe, clarinet, double bassoon and alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, violin and cello. Ordinary conversation, cough and chat at concert hall sitting area as well as soprano, tenor voices were also subjected to the test.

1. When putting face mask, the test showed there was not much difference in infection risk between sitting seats side by side and every odd of a row of seat.
2. The experts found no evidence of increasing risk of virus infection when playing string instruments, all woodwind instruments, euphonium and tuba in ordinary distance from next players in orchestra when compared with keeping distance.
3. When horn player plays in ordinary distance, the chances to contract the virus through respiratory droplets are seemingly low when compared keeping distance. However, experts suggest adequate air ventilation.
4. When trumpet and trombone are played, the risk of virus infection is considered to be low tested at 200cm ahead of the players.

The experts didn’t get any indicative data of virus infection at left and right sides and back of the players in ordinary distance.

The experts concluded while we have no measures to completely shut down infection of the virus, but logical combination of prevention measures can effectively reduce the risk and control the infection in limited area.

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