Double-blind tests in 2014 located more recent violins have a favored sound, stunning many. But it is tune to the ears of violinists with smaller budgets.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and flavor is on the tongue of the gourmand, is the sound of the sweetest violin handiest in the ear of a melophile, or “song lover”?
Each of these begs the question on superlatives: is there a cello bow pernambuco “fine” for the whole thing? And since the time of Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), luthier of the eponymous Stradivarius, it is been a depend of traditional awareness that his first-class violins have been in reality the nice of the first-rate. But are they? Two latest double-blind tests recommend that won’t be the case in the end.
First, a bit historical past: Craftsmanship, woods available at the time (density differentials, perhaps because of chillier climate situations when the source bushes have been developing), varnishes manufactured from egg white, honey, and gum arabic… All are notion to have contributed to the excellent and mystique of the nice cellos, violas and violins Stradivari crafted. Most latest auctions of man or woman Strads have fetched in extra of $15 million. According to CMUSE, a tune information and amusement internet site, global-magnificence violin soloists who play Stradivariuses encompass Anne-Sophie Mutter, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Salvatore Accardo, Edvin Marton, and Anne Akiko Meyers. Famed cellist Yo Yo Ma plays a Stradivarius cello.
Tests evaluating Stradivarius violins with more moderen pinnacle-exceptional violins were conducted below the path of musical acoustician Claudia Fritz (Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris), violinmaker Joseph Curtin of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and their colleagues. The first turned into with six violins, 3 Strads and three top-great current violins. It was carried out in a hotel room in Vincennes, the suburb of Paris, by using two violinists who wore modified welding goggles to prevent them from knowing if they were gambling vintage or new units. Fifty-five listeners rated every contraptions, and the final results desired the brand new violins.
The first observe met grievance – too small a sample, too few listeners, in a hotel room and no longer a live performance corridor – so the researchers multiplied their study with a 2nd test in three hundred-seat auditorium in New York City before an target audience of 82 listeners. The outcome changed into the identical: new violins beat the Strads. This look at become posted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (“Listener reviews of recent and Old Italian violins,” Fritz, Curtin, et al, 2017).
One factor made repeatedly by the listeners turned into about the units’ projection, the loudness of the sound. The more moderen violins received on that score, and the ratings for projection correlated with rankings for ordinary sound fine.
While this can tarnish (for a few) the belief of Stradivariuses, it may be otherwise visible with the aid of