Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Historical clues to Stradivari's craft: Evidence that violin maker's workmanship was based on traditions of ancient artists

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Scientists have used a range of analytical methods to identify the techniques used by violin master Antonio Stradivari in the 17th century, and attempted to replicate his craftsmanship. Antonio Stradivari is universally recognized as one of the most famous violin makers in the world. During his life, he and his apprentices built more than a thousand violins, violas, cellos and other stringed instruments.

New research uses a range of analytical methods to identify the techniques used by violin master Antonio Stradivari in the 17th century, and attempts to replicate his craftsmanship.
Credit: Marco Malagodi/Claudio Canevari

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, and attempts to replicate his craftsmanship.

The work is published online in Springer's journal, Applied Physics A -- Materials Science & Processing.

Antonio Stradivari is universally recognized as one of the most famous violin makers in the world. During his life, he and his apprentices built more than a thousand violins, violas, cellos and other stringed instruments. The importance of Stradivari's work lies in his craftsmanship, the quality of the materials used and the finishes on the instruments' surfaces. The sound of a violin is a result of the combination of the materials used e.g. wood species and varnishes, the construction technique and the skill of the maker.

Malagodi and team used a range of different diagnostic techniques to identify the characteristics and composition of the materials in an original violin top plate, made by Antonio Stradivari. They also studied surface coatings and decorations.

Their analyses revealed the absence of varnish layers on the surface of the top plate as a result of extended and excessive restoring. They also identified the dye used for the black layers of the purflings*, and the characteristics of the black and white elements of the decorations, which confirmed that Stradivari used ancient techniques of wood coloring.

The researchers then copied the top plate based on their discoveries, using materials similar to those identified on the original Stradivari. They carried out the same detailed analyses for comparison.

The authors conclude: "Our investigations have provided several important insights about the manufacturing techniques of Antonio Stradivari and allowed us to hypothesize about the recipes used by this violin master, or by his suppliers, to decorate his instruments. These findings represent an important step in the study of the materials used by violin makers during the second half of the 17th century in Northern Italy."

*The purflings are three strips of wood, glued together and set in as a decorative detail, encircling the outline of the violin, just inside the edge.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Malagodi, C. Canevari, L. Bonizzoni, A. Galli, F. Maspero, M. Martini. A multi-technique chemical characterization of a Stradivari decorated violin top plate. Applied Physics A, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00339-013-7792-2

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Historical clues to Stradivari's craft: Evidence that violin maker's workmanship was based on traditions of ancient artists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103304.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, July 8). Historical clues to Stradivari's craft: Evidence that violin maker's workmanship was based on traditions of ancient artists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103304.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Historical clues to Stradivari's craft: Evidence that violin maker's workmanship was based on traditions of ancient artists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103304.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) — When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins