Stradivari at the Palacio Real in Madrid. Photo: Håkan Svensson, Wikipedia
Read To the last scratch and wormhole US researchers have copied a more than 300 years old Stradivarius violin. The precious original had revealed its fine structure in a computer tomograph (CT). The scientists were given three-dimensional cross-sectional images, from which they could then develop a precise computer model of the Stradivarius that made replicating possible. The radiologist Steven Sirr of Mora, Minn., And his colleagues presented the finished instrument at the annual convention of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. Whether the duplicate corresponds to the original in the sound, however, comparisons have yet to show. For what gives the Stradivari violins their unique timbre, there are many theories, but so far no clear explanation. The more than 300 years old instruments of violin maker Antonio Giacomo Stradivari (1648 - 1737) are famous for their brilliant highs and velvety tones in the depths. About 550 of the violins are preserved, each with its own name. For example, the well-known German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter owns two Stradivarius, the? Emiliani? and the? Lord Dunn-Raven ?. The exclusive instruments achieve spectacular prices at auctions: Last changed a Stradivarius for over 3.5 million US dollars the owner. Reproductions of Stradivari violins could be an affordable alternative for young violinists, scientists say. In addition, the copies could help to find out what makes the great divas under the violins so special.


Video: Anne Sophie-Mutter plays Beethoven on a Stradivari

For the copy of the researchers stood the violin named? Betts Stradivarius? Model. Modern computed tomography made it possible to analyze the historical instrument of 1704 without disassembling it or even destroying it. With great caution, the researchers created more than a thousand individual cross-sectional images of the violin. Violins are not just simple wooden sound bodies? As with humans, they also have a wide range of individual variations, "explains Sirr. An instrument that is more than 300 years old makes tiny cracks, wormholes, repair traces as well as changes due to environmental influences a particularly unique object.

The CT images, which reflect these details, turned the scientists on the computer into a kind of three-dimensional blueprint. On the basis of this specification, a computer-controlled machine then milled exact replicas of the individual parts of the violin from different woods. Violin makers then put them together, varnished the finished instrument and gave it the final touch, based on the details of the CT images. display

Special fine structures of legendary violins have long been regarded as a possible source of their quality. There are theories that say that the wood the master used in the construction was unusually dense. Others suspect that the sound was created by mysterious wood preservatives with which Stradivari wanted to protect his instruments against woodworms. Whatever the cause, the end product is a violin that makes emotions resonate in many people. Researchers have also been concerned with this effect. The vibrational patterns of the Stradivarii violins are similar to the human voice, showing sound analysis. Your resonant body thus amplifies vocal-like frequencies that particularly flatter our ears.

Steven Sirr (Mora, Minnesota) et al.: Contribution to the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Chicago © science.de? Martin Vieweg

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