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Is A Stradivarius Violin Easier To Hear? Science Says Nope

Violinist Adrian Pintea, from The Julliard School, plays a 1729 Stradivari known as the "Solomon, Ex-Lambert" in 2007 at Christie's in New York. Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Violinist Adrian Pintea, from The Julliard School, plays a 1729 Stradivari known as the “Solomon, Ex-Lambert” in 2007 at Christie’s in New York.
Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Another day, another study undercutting the myth surrounding the 18th-century Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari.

Since the early 20th century, musicians and instrument experts have been trying to figure out what, if anything, makes the violins he made sound better.

Dedicated NPR listeners and violin enthusiasts may remember a few years ago when a team led by the French acoustics researcher Claudia Fritz published a study showing that blindfolded professional violinists could not tell the difference between a so-called Old Italian violin (they tested instruments made by both Stradivari and Guarneri) and a new violin. Full story.

Rebecca Hersher (NPR) / May 8, 2017

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