History on stradiuarius violins dating in the 1800s

16-Feb-2015 18:21

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The two violinists were allowed to play all the instruments first.

None of the listeners identified more than two of the four instruments.

The majority (113) of the listeners misidentified the winning violin as the Stradivarius.

In an additional test, performed in a concert hall, one of the Stradivarius violins placed first, but one of the participants stated that "the audience in the concert hall were essentially equivocal on which instruments were better in each of the pair-wise instrument comparisons" and "I could tell slight differences in the instruments..overall they were all great.

Joseph Nagyvary reveals that he has always held the belief that there are a wide range of chemicals that will improve the violin's sound. Renald Guillemette and Clifford Spiegelman, Nagyvary managed to get hold of shavings from a Stradivarius violin and examined them: burning small amounts to find their chemical composition showed that the wood shavings contained "borax, fluorides, chromium and iron salts." He also found that the wood had decayed a little, to the extent that the filter plates in the pores between the wood's component tracheids had rotted away, perhaps while the wood was stored in or under water in the Venice lagoon before Stradivarius used it. Steven Sirr, a radiologist, worked with researchers to perform a CT scan of a Stradivari known as the "Betts." Data regarding the differing densities of woods used were then used to create a reproduction instrument.

While only about 650 original Stradivari instruments (harps, guitars, violas, cellos, violins) survive today, thousands of violins have been made in tribute to Stradivari, copying his model and bearing labels that read "Stradivarius" on them.

They are difficult to sell illicitly as dealers will typically call the police if approached by a seller with a Stradivarius known to have been stolen.

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Violinists and others have criticized these tests on various grounds such as that they are not double-blind (in most cases), the judges are often not experts, and the sounds of violins are hard to evaluate objectively and reproducibly.Stradivari made his instruments using an inner form, unlike the French copyists, such as Vuillaume, who employed an outer form.It is clear from the number of forms throughout his career that he experimented with some of the dimensions of his instruments.Croatian wood was a commodity traded by Venetian merchants of the era, and is used today by local luthiers and craftsfolk for musical instruments.

Some research points to wood preservatives used in that day as contributing to the resonant qualities.

found no significant differences in median densities between modern and classical violins, or between classical violins from different origins; instead the survey of several modern and classical examples of violins highlighted a notable distinction when comparing density differentials.

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