The Glorious Stradivari Revolution
Antonio Stradivari, a man known by many as on of the greatest luthiers of all time. The question at hand is why? From as early as the early 1700’s Stradivari was well known in the music world and still is. His instruments are reproduced in order to fool consumers into buying an instrument that has the same design as a Strad. There are also luthiers that try to replicate Stradivari’s beautiful design for their own satisfaction. Antonio Stradivari’s instruments have become socially and technically popular over time due to his superior craftsmanship, and for others, its large price tag. Stradivari’s life, affecting how his instruments were made, changed the perception of his instruments technically and socially.
Antonio Stradivari was born in Bergamo Italy 1644. In his youth he lived in Cremona Italy, where he became the apprentice of Nicolo Amati. He had married twice, once in 1667 with a woman named Francesca, whom he had six children with. His first son only lived for six days. The rest later became priests, and apprentices of their father. Francesca then died in 1698. Soon after Stradivari remarried in 1699 to a woman named Antonia. Antonia and Stradivari had four children. Two of which had died. Stradivari bought a home in Piazza Roma; this is where Stradivari carried out his work as a luthier, with his sons at his side as apprentices. In 1737 Stradivari had died and was buried in the church of San Domenico in Cremona where his family had originated.
A luthier is defined as a creator and maker of stringed instruments. Stradivari’s main focus was perfecting violins, but would often branch into violas and cellos which are much more rare to find today. Through his life ...
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... The shaping of the instrument was done in much finer detail unparalleled to any maker at the time. Stradivari’s varnish was always a question of mystery that for the longest time was un-answered. “…Stradivarius owes much of his reputation for genius to the ness of the Northern Italian town of Cremona were he worked” (Stradivari and the Bees, Henley 11). A German engineer was the one who discovered this mystery, soon after he tried to mass-produce this varnish but failed.
There are many ways scientists have experimented on Stradivari’s instruments. One way and the most common is through CT scans and resonance tests. The purpose of CT scans is to determine all of the shaping that Stradivari had done. CT scans measure density, thickness, shape, etc. Resonance tests are performed on the Strads to test the spectrum capacities between his violins and others.
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