Should there be standards to routinely clean instruments and what methods are available for that? It has been found that the bacteria and other microorganisms inside of musical instruments may be the culprit of respiratory infections in musicians (King et al. 2016). This project was divided into two experiments. First, clarinet reeds were introduced to three different species of bacteria. Then mouthpieces of trombonists and clarinetists of Eastern Kentucky University were swabbed and analyzed using a Colony Forming Unit assay. Bacteria was found to live on unused reeds for up to 30 days. Mouthpieces house millions of bacteria, determined by CFU assays. More evidence is needed to support the claim that differing methods of cleaning aid in bacteria removal. Standardization of instrument disinfection needs to be explored to improve the health of instruments and individuals.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-1-2023


William Staddon

Mentor Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)