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Mitigating Infectious Disease Risk for Recorder Players - by Aulos, Japan - Covid-19

Posted: 10/06/2020
"Aulos set about designing tests and experiments - using state of the art camera technology - to analyse the risks of playing recorder to those around you. "

Recorders can sometimes be overlooked as simply an early-learning instrument, but anyone who has had dealings with Japanese recorder manufacturer Aulos will know differently.

The care and detail with which they handle the building and designing of their recorders is second to none. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they have led the way in recent research into the prevention of infectious diseases when performing with a recorder.  

Using very specialised industrial cameras, Aulos technicians set about analysing what comes out of a recorder when it is blown. The cameras could detect items sized at only a few microns (1/1000th of a millimetre).

With technical videos published on their website here - - Aulos conducted various experiments in which they observed dispersal of water droplets when the instruments were played in different ways and under varying circumstances. The droplet dispersal pattern was also contrasted with what is expelled from the mouth of a singer.


In all their experiments, Aulos found that there were almost no water droplet splashes visible, other than where there was a gap between the mouth and the recorder. The inference of these findings must be therefore that there is minimal direct risk of playing recorder to those nearby.


From these experiments, Aulos have issued a few advice guidelines that will be useful to music stores, musicians, and teachers.

  • When playing the recorder, ensure that your lips create a good seal. Any leakage of saliva will come from the edge of the mouth.
  • Students should take care not to swing the recorder around, as any residual moisture can be released into the surrounding area.
  • After playing, it is advised to check for any water leakage onto the floor and if found, wipe with disposable towel and disinfect the affected area of floor.
  • Have a mask ready to wear the moment that the recorder is removed from the mouth.

These steps and others are laid out in more detail here:


Naturally, it is unwise to share recorders – or any instrument – at the moment, but Aulos has also issued advice on the proper cleaning of recorders with a focus on preventing infectious diseases.

The detailed guide – which is applicable to all brands of recorder – can be found and printed here:



Aulos products are available in the UK and Ireland from Barnes & Mullins Ltd.