News Stories

How Did They Do It?

For centuries, modern violin makers have tried in vain to recreate musical instruments that sound as good as the ones the Italian masters made in the 17th century. Researchers now think that the wonderful music from a Stradivarius is due to the density of the wood it was made from and that, in turn, has to do with how COLD the weather was at that time.

Trees in the early seventeenth century, when these great violins were made, was affected by the mini-Ice Age that was going on at that time. In BBC News, Matt McGrath quotes violinist Berend Stoel as saying, "If you look at any piece of wood, as long as it's not tropical, you have these year rings. The differences between these rings are the density - the wood is more dense during the winter than it is during the faster growing period of the summer. That pattern is influencing the resonating quality of the wood."

If we have a COLDER future (rather than a hotter one), will violins sing beautifully again?

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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