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Terminal Piping

New Scientist has a story about deadly bagpipes. The title conjures up all sorts of humorous ideas but it turns out to be no laughing matter; the environment inside wind instruments has been identified as a breeding ground for lots of nasty microorganisms if allowed to stay warm and moist.

I think basses, guitars and the like are safer in that respect; they still build up gunk and not keeping the strings clean means they will quickly go dead but at least that doesn’t transfer to the player in the same way. Mind you, I’ll be extra cautious next time I’m playing with air-powered instruments – as a bassist, fortunately I normally get to sit behind them!

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