Stories tagged accordion

Sep
28
2007

Breathing easier: Irish accordions are happier these days now that they're being played in smoke-free venues. Build up of soot and odors in the instruments was impacting the sounds that they make. (Flickr photo by schwa23)
Breathing easier: Irish accordions are happier these days now that they're being played in smoke-free venues. Build up of soot and odors in the instruments was impacting the sounds that they make. (Flickr photo by schwa23)
Minnesota’s statewide smoking ban starts on Monday (Oct. 1) and humans aren’t the only one who’ll benefit from it.

According to a study being conducted in Ireland, musical instruments that are played in the now smoke-free bars and pubs of that country are experiencing a better quality of their life. The new findings have recently been published in the British Medical Journal.

But the more you think about it, instruments like an accordion are a lot more like a set of lungs than anything else. They draw in and exhale air to create their, uh, unique sound.

The Irish smoking ban in public places has been in effect since 2004. And while many studies have been conducted to test the health benefits to people who work in the pubs, bars and restaurants that now have cleaner air, this new study is the first to look at the impact on instruments. And not so coincidently, one of the researchers is an accordion player. Other instruments checked out in the study were concertinas, melodeons and Uilleann (Irish) bagpipes, all of which are bellows-driven.

How do they know the instruments are happier and healthier since the ban? Researchers contacted the repair workers for the instruments in the country. They reported that prior to the ban, they’d get a blast of foul odors when opening up the instruments to do repairs. They also found sooty particles in the tubing and chambers of the instrument. Get enough of that gunk in there, and the tones the instrument was putting out could be affected.

Now there’s something to dance a jig about!