First violins imitated human voices: study

Music historians have long suspected that the inventors of the violin wanted to imitate the human voice, and a study out Monday shows how 16th to 18th century luthiers in Italy did it.

Ditch the Stradivarius? New violins sound better: study

Despite the lofty reputation of old violins by Italian masters such as Antonio Stradivari, blindfolded listeners in concert halls in New York and Paris say they preferred the sound of newer instruments.

Varnish affects the sound of a violin

Varnishes protect works of art and wooden instruments from environmental damage. However, until recently, little research had been carried out into the effects of varnish on the sound of violins. Empa researchers have now ...

In blind test, soloists like new violins over old (Update)

Ten world-class soloists put costly Stradivarius violins and new, cheaper ones to a blind scientific test. The results may seem off-key to musicians and collectors, but the new instruments won handily.

Scientists unveil historical clues to Stradivari's craft

A new study, by Marco Malagodi from the Università degli Studi di Pavia in Italy and colleagues, uses a range of analytical methods to identify the techniques used by violin master Antonio Stradivari in the 17th century, ...

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