Down to the ground: Stradivari’s preparation layers


Giacomo Fiocco presents the results of a study using innovative spectroscopic techniques to examine two of the master’s finest instruments

It is widely recognised that both the aesthetic and the acoustic qualities of Antonio Stradivari’s masterpieces are influenced by various stages of the manufacturing process, with particular emphasis on the finishing treatments. Of these, the varnish layers and ground coats play a crucial role in shaping the vibro-mechanical and acoustic behaviour of violins. Consequently, scientific research in the field of musical instruments, both in the past and the present, has focused on characterising the materials used in the finishing processes and their distribution within the coating system…

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