These instruments are featured in The Strad’s September 2019 issue focus on experiments with asymmetry in instrument design

‘The acoustics of the violin is asymmetrical,’ luthier Joseph Curtin notes. ‘The soundpost and bass-bar introduce an acoustical asymmetry that is vital to low-frequency sound radiation.

‘And the playing process is absolutely asymmetrical. So there’s no reason to assume that the ideal instrument, if you were starting from scratch, would be symmetrical. It’s just that the instrument evolved at a time when symmetry and proportion were associated with goodness and all that was best in humankind.’