Violinist imitates car alarm sounds

Gbritaney says: "This is me imitating a car alarm on my violin. I learned how to do this when I was in the 5th grade..out of pure boredom due to it being the summer. I would sit next to my parent's car and press the panic button over and over again until I learn this." Read the rest

Why violin makers adopted the f-shaped hole

Why did violins slowly develop f-shaped sound-holes? Because it makes them more acoustically powerful than their ancestors, which had holes shaped liked a circle -- as a team of MIT scientists recently concluded. Read the rest

Researchers unlock the "mystery" of the Stradivari violin

Antonio Stradivari was a 17th-and-18th century instrument maker who is still famous for having made beautiful, mysterious violins. Many thought he used a secret ingredient to create the brilliant varnish unique to his instruments. In a recently released study aimed at demystifying the Stradivari violin, researchers in France and Germany subjected five of his violins from a museum collection to a series of spectroscopic and microscopic tests. Quite anticlimactically, it turns out he was just using materials typical for that era, plus some red pigments for added color:

Stradivari first applied a layer of an oil comparable to the oils used by painters of the same epoch, without fillers or pigments to seal the wood. We did not find a mineral-rich layer, as some earlier work suggests. The master violinmaker next applied a slightly tinted oil-resin layer. We have detected nothing that would have suggested the use of protein-containing materials, gums, or fossil resins.

Secret behind the composition of the varnish on Stradivari violins revealed [via] Photo via The Alieness Gisele Giardino's Flickr Read the rest