The oboe bell cover by Bell Barrier is an instrument mask designed to reduce the spread of airborne pathogens from player to areas beyond the bell. They use medical grade polypropylene with an elastic trim to fit snugly over the bell, this patent pending product is 98% acoustically transparent and will improve the safety of players in close proximity to each other from passing airborne particulate matter between them by 64%. A non-woven bell cover reduces the aerosol release from an oboe bell by 96% according to the International Coalition of Performing Arts Aerosol Study Report 3. The 2-layer bell cover fulfills MERV-13 recommendations by some, however, the sound will be affected by the extra layer. One layer does the job perfectly well.
Bell Barrier is attempting to provide protection against the spread of disease without destroying the fundamental production of sound. Grippy, dense materials, especially those that stretch are easy solutions for only one of these issues but can be very damaging in other ways. This solution must work AND sound good. The current available science suggests that only the Bell Barrier solution can meet both objectives and that is why it is preferred by the most prestigious music schools in the nation, like Juilliard. If your school or organization requires the MERV-13 rating on your bell cover, simply buy the 2-layer bell cover to comply.
- Acoustically Transparent – Bell Barriers are 98% acoustically transparent, so there is very little sound loss. They work just like face masks in preventing the spread of airborne pathogens while playing.
- Pull tab – All Bell Barriers have a sew-on tab for easy on/off with minimal touching of exposed areas.
- Non-stretchable polypropylene fabric so as not to increase small openings to allow aerosols to penetrate barrier
- Low impact elastics to minimize sound impact
- Machine washable and air dry
- May be immediately disinfected with alcohol spray, i.e. Mighty Mist
- Made in America
Why isn't the elastic tight around the bell?
The Bell Barrier is designed to lay flat against the bell but to not grip the bell because it would severely hurt the sound and vibration of the instrument without improving efficacy. The speed of air leaving the bell is not sufficient to manage pushing around a sealed corner. You wouldn't tie a rope around a church bell and expect it to sound good. The same holds true for a wind instrument.
Why only one layer?
One layer of this material is more than sufficient to block the spread of virus but a second layer insert is available although it will impact sound sufficiently as to be disliked by those with discerning ears.
What is the loop for?
The loop is to allow the user to remove the cover without touching the surface.
Is a MERV-13 rating necessary?
A MERV-13 rating is met with two layers of Bell Barrier material but is overkill. With droplets being entirely caught and aerosols being mostly blocked with escaping aerosols traveling less than a foot based on the speed they exit the bell, a second layer only serves to ruin the sound production.