Flute players have an undeserved reputation for spreading the Covid 19 virus due to the direction and volume of the airflow required to play their instruments. Half the air may go into the instrument to make tuneful music, but the rest is reputed to shoot out at high speed over the top of the lip plate and hit the viola section on the backs of their heads. **Studies have shown this not to be the case and that air from the flute does not travel more than two feet before it stops (about the same distance as for normal speech). Very little airflow is detectable at the end of the flute, or from the finger-holes. The fast flowing air is converted to sound waves which propagate by vibrating, but not moving, the air. This is equally true of all wind and brass instruments.
The device I designed (shown above) should not be necessary but is presented to allow flute players to play in groups where other members are still suspicious of the above science.
The design files can be found here https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4458202 and may be freely downloaded and printed on a 3D printer if you have access to one. Alternatively the files can be submitted to one of the many 3D printing services advertised online.
The device clips over the flute head joint and is held in place by opposing magnets in each half. Adhesive neoprene tape in a recess in the body forms a gasket at either end and prevents the device moving. The design accommodates a head joint with a conical bore between 18-19mm. In use the airflow over the lip plate is redirected around the body of the flute and exits onto the players shirt. This allows the flute player to claim that they pose no more of an infection risk than an oboe player, with the added advantage that they don’t sound like a duck.
Additional items required:
Adhesive Neoprene Tape – 4mm width x 2 mm thick (Amazon)
6mm x 2mm neodymium magnets (disc shaped) (Amazon)
** A document was published by the Freiburg University of Music on April 25, 2020 entitled Risk Assessment Regarding Corona-Infections in Music Making .