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The Sweet Sound of Stradivarius’ Insecticides

December 16th, 2006 · 1 Comment

So apparently the tone and sound of the Stradivari violins are due to the chemicals used to treat the wood the violins were made of. I do not envy the scientist who spent 30 years proving his hypothesis that the unique and rich sound of the violins derive from the treatment done to the wood. Imagine having to collect wood samples from million dollar violins!

Mystery solved
Answering a question that has lingered for centuries, a team of scientists has proved that chemicals used to treat the wood used in Stradivarius and Guarneri violins are the reasons for the distinct sound produced by the world-famous instruments.

The conclusions, published in the current issue of Nature magazine, have confirmed 30 years of work into the subject by Joseph Nagyvary, professor emeritus of biochemistry at Texas A&M University, who was the first to theorize that chemicals – not necessarily the wood – created the unique sound of the two violins. Nagyvary teamed with collaborators Joseph DiVerdi of Colorado State University and Noel Owen of Brigham Young University on the project.