The secret of Stradivari

September 23, 2012 14:15

Quality violin depends not only on mastery produce her master, but also on the use of wood. Swiss scientist Professor Francis Schwartz (Francis WMR Schwarze) of the Federal Laboratory of Materials Science and Technology (Empa Switzerland) found a simple method of changing the acoustic properties of the violin, the violin is in the handling of wood special fungus.

The sound extracted from such a tool is similar to the sound of a Stradivarius violin.

The main characteristics of wood to create the perfect tone violin sound is considered low density, high speed of sound and high modulus of elasticity. The famous violin maker XVII-XVIII centuries, Antonio Stradivari used to work the wood of the particularly cold period between 1645 and 1715.

The long winters and cold summers made the trees grow very slowly and evenly, and provides a low density and high modulus of elasticity. Since then, the violin-makers can only dream of a material with such a quality tone.

And now the discovery of Professor Schwartz can make the wood of this quality available for the production of modern violins. Scientist found two types of fungus, Physisporinus vitreus and Xylaria longipes, which decompose Norwegian spruce and sycamore (main types of wood used in the production of high-quality violins) to such an extent that their tonal characteristics are markedly improved.

Usually fungi reduce the density of the wood (which is good), but they also, unfortunately, reduce the speed of sound in the tree. A unique feature of the detected fungi researcher calls that they gradually break down cell membranes, thinned them, but that, even in an advanced stage of decomposition tree retains its strong structural framework in which sound waves are still able to propagate in a straight line.

Even the elastic modulus of the tree is not getting worse, which is one of the most important criteria in the production of violins. Before The exposed wood fungus goes into production, it is treated with ethylene oxide (gas), which kills the fungus (Moor has done his work.)

With the violin makers Shlezke Martin (Martin Schleske) and Michael Ronhaymera (Michael Rhonheimer) of pre-treated wood fungus was activated several violins.

In 2009, conducted a "blind" test: British violinist Matthew Trasler (Matthew Trusler) played by one on a new and authentic Stradivarius of 1711, standing behind the curtain. The results (subjective assessment) were absolutely amazing. A professional jury and the majority of the audience agreed that the handiwork of a Stradivarius violin is new: it proved so outstanding tonal characteristics.

Valery Kachmarik

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