Research

Updated on a regular basis. Last updated 17th May 2021.

The Association of British Choral Directors have published a research paper on the impact of the Covid-19 virus on choral activity in the UK, prepared by Professor Martin Ashley (an ABCD trustee) providing a survey of research into the current thinking about how choirs and conductors might resume rehearsing and performing in the future. HERE

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) released guidance and a statement of support for choral singing and study during the Covid-19 pandemic on 15th June 2020. HERE

Provisional research results about various types of masks (August 2020) HERE

Research on 'Exhaled respiratory particles during singing and talking' (August 2020) HERE

Results from PERFORM, funded by Public Health England: Comparing the Respirable Aerosol Concentrations and Particle Size Distributions Generated by Singing, Speaking, and Breathing HERE. Vocology Ireland has put together a summary of these results HERE.

Freiburg University of Music has published a risk assessment of coronavirus infection in the field of music – latest update 17th July 2020 HERE

A number of performing arts organisations have joined forces to commission a study on the effects of Covid-19 on the return to the rehearsal hall. The most up to date results (2021) can be found HERE.

In the Netherlands, the website VirMus.nl aims to provide musicians with science-based information during Covid-19. This research project, initiated by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (RPhO) and supported by all major Dutch orchestral and choral associations, is carried out by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The aim is to publish and review the different articles and come up with clear and scientific-based advice for singers and wind musicians.

The University of Amsterdam discussed the latest scientific insights in aerosol transmission of coronavirus HERE (May 2021)

In Austria, the Wiener Philharmoniker carred out an experiment on the risk of infection from the spread of the air breathed by musicians, HERE.

The Chorverband Österreich commissioned a study with the Vienna university on aerosols and singing, see here. They only observed the emission of aerosols, not their distribution in a room over time and not the role they can play in infections, but they showed with the pictures they made that aerosoles are not distributed over a significant distance. They recommend wearing facemasks for singing.

The Norwegian Choral Association is doing a research project in cooperation with a research institute and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, where they will measure droplets and micro-droplets during singing compared to talking.

Current literature of the impact of COVID-19 on musicians and returning to singing HERE

See a research summary and video HERE from Lund University in Sweden: 'Exhaled respiratory particles during singing and talking'. See the full article HERE.

In Germany (July 2020) the Technical University Berlin and Charité published a study proving that more aerosols are produced singing than talking or simply breathing, see HERE. This follows the previous study on aerosols by the same university in Berlin (HERE). Later (October 2020) they published a study on singing and aerosols with children (HERE), showing that they emit fewer aerosols than adults (but can produce more when they shout, e.g. cheering about a goal in a soccer game, than an adult singing). See anoverview on studies about aerosols HERE.

In Catalonia, Spain, they have decided to do some research with different types of face masks and shields, in order to test how many aerosols get through which type of masks, and how they modify vibrations. They also looked at existing research HERE and HERE.

In the USA, an aerosol study was carried out by an international coalition, to study the effects of Covid-19 on the return to the rehearsal room (see details HERE). The full results are published (see HERE, updated April 2021).

A new study on aerosols was published in early December 2020 in Princeton, see HERE.

In Canada research was started with the aim of assessing whether singing in groups is a super-spreader activity, see HERE.