A team of researchers at National Taiwan University believe that the unique sound of Stradivarius instruments may have arisen from a secret anti-woodworm treatment applied by the master-luthier.
Our analysis of Stradivari’s maples from three independent sources showed reproducible differences in chemical compositions compared with modern maples. Stradivari’s use of mineral-treated maples belonged to a forgotten tradition unknown to later violin makers. His maple also appeared to be transformed by aging and vibration, resulting in a unique composite material unavailable to modern makers. Modern chemical analyses may, therefore, improve our understanding of Stradivari’s unique craft and inspire the development of novel material approaches in instrument making.
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