Making Matters: Instrument resonance


The tonal qualities of great instruments continue to prove profoundly enigmatic when we seek to unlock their secrets, as Martin Horvat explains

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Even though the acoustic magic of bowed stringed instruments has attracted great scientific interest, there are no satisfactory explanations for many of its key characteristics. They have been variously attributed to the varnish, to the special qualities of the wood, or even to fungus-treated wood. Invariably, the tweaking of some minor detail is supposedly (and miraculously) key to achieving superb results…

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