Ask the Experts: protecting your instrument in hot and humid temperatures

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Four luthiers and restorers advise a musician on how to care for her instrument during the hot summer months

The dilemma My viola has just about survived a harsh winter, but now it looks as though we’re in for a long hot summer as well. What’s the best way for me to take care of my instrument in the heat? And are there any tell-tale signs I should look for, which might mean I should get it examined by a repairer? 

CHRISTIAN SCHABBON Winter presents us with a relatively dry environment that can lead to shrinking plates and the danger of cracks developing. Summer can also be challenging in certain parts of the world because of excessive heat and humidity, although the probability of the top and back developing cracks is lower than in winter.

Too much humidity can weaken glue joints and soften the wood, making the instrument susceptible to permanent deformation. The neck...

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