New research into violin wood density suggests that it is
unlikely that classical Cremonese makers had access to wood with
significantly different material properties than that available to
contemporaneous or modern makers.
In a study published online in the peer-reviewed, open access journal Plos One, Terry Borman, Berend Stoel and Ronald de Jongh used computed tomography (CT) densitometry to analyse 17 classical and modern Dutch, German, Austrian and French violins. They then compared the results with results from a 2008 study in which Borman and Stoel analysed the wood density of 13 modern and Cremonese violins.
The instruments in the new study included violins by Hendrik Jacobs, Pieter Rombouts, Willem van der Syde, Jacques Boquay and Jacob Stainer.
The researchers found only small differences in the densities of the maple and spruce used by violin makers from several countries and over a time frame of more than 300 years. They concluded: 'Our results indicate increasing difficulty in sustaining the notion that the classical Cremonese violin makers such as Stradivari and Guarneri 'del Gesù' had access to wood with significantly different material properties than what contemporaneous could, or modern makers can, access.'
To read the full paper, click here.