Can An Expert Violinist Pick Out A Stradivarius? No

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Can You Pick The Strad? In a double-blind test by professional violinists, most couldn't determine by sound alone” which violin was an original Stradivarius and which was a modern instrument.

"In the world of violins, the names Stradivari and Guarneri are sacred. For three centuries, violin-makers and scientists have studied the instruments made by these Italian craftsmen. So far no one has figured out what makes their sound different. But a new study now suggests maybe they aren't so different after all."

Experts were given a test, and you can take a similar one later.

Maybe the test offered a tough choice but a professional violinist could tell the difference, right?

"Well, a research team recently tried to find out. They gathered professional violinists in a hotel room in Indianapolis. They had six violins — two Strads, a Guarneri and three modern instruments. Everybody wore dark goggles so they couldn't see which violin was which.

Then the researchers told the musicians: These are all fine violins and at least one is a Stradivarius. Play, then judge the instruments.

Joseph Curtin, a violin-maker from Michigan, was one of the researchers. "There was no evidence that people had any idea what they were playing," he says. "That really surprised me." More

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