During the last decades many researchers have tried to understand what has most influenced the extraordinary sound and beauty of the masterpieces made by the ancient violin makers, and this still represents a challenge for the coming future. Due to the fact that historical written documents about the making process are scarce, the current knowledge is mainly based on the rediscover of the ancient know-how through scientific analyses performed on the materials. This article focuses on the research activities and the methods developed in the Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostic of the University of Pavia. The lab, hosted in the prestigious Museo del Violino in Cremona, has the privilege to get in contact with some of the most important musical instruments of the violin making history. Many admirable works of famous violin makers such as Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri are analyzed through many different non-invasive and non-destructive techniques. The research team uses standardized methods according to an analytical protocol specially developed for this purpose. These activities aim to enrich a basic knowledge focused on Antonio Stradivari and his contemporaries violins’ materials and bring us closer to the enigma surrounding the beauty and the sound of their masterpieces.
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