The Science of Siren Songs: Stradivari Unveiled is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and master violin-maker and acoustician Joseph Curtin, recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. This in-depth conversation explores Curtin’s long quest to characterize the sound of a Stradivari violin and the rigorous series of double-blind tests he and his colleagues developed to probe whether or not professional musicians can really tell the difference between a Stradivari and a modern violin. The conversation also covers violin acoustics and how Joseph Curtin marries acoustic science to the art of violin making and merges time-honoured techniques with new materials and design.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Finding What You’re Looking For, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
- Finding One’s Niche – Becoming a violin maker
- Confronting Biases – Measuring a mystery
- Characterizing Sound – Towards objectivity
- Making Modern Violins – In search of a new aesthetic
- The Future Awaits – Digital violins, new books and more
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