Modern violins beat Stradivarius-made instruments in a blind test
Tuesday 08 April 2014
Modern violins have beaten Stradivarius-made instruments worth millions in a blind test involving 10 world-class soloists.
The musicians were asked to rate the instruments for sound and playability among other factors and then choose on that they would want to use on a tour.
Strads, as they are known, were made by the famous Stradivari family in Italy in the 17 and 18 century and are widely regarded as the best violins.
The study, by violin maker Joseph Curtin and acoustics expert Claudia Fritz, of Pierre and Marie Curie University in France, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal on Monday.
The researcher decided not to reveal the makes of the new violins to avoid appearing as if they were making an advert.
But the most popular and second best violins were both modern instruments. The musicians were also asked to say whether they were playing a new or old violin. They did so successfully 31 times, but were wrong 33 times.
American violinist Giora Schmidt said: “I was surprised that my top choice was new. Studying music and violin in particular, it's almost ingrained in your thinking that the most successful violinists on the concert stage have always played old Italian instruments.
"I said kiddingly to them I will write you a cheque for this fiddle right now.”
Canadian soloist Susanne Hou, who plays a borrowed, 269-year-old Guarneri del Gesu violin, picked the same, new violin. “Whatever this is I would like to buy it,” she said. “There are certain things you can't explain when you fall in love.”
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians