Fungi Infestation Makes Stradivarius-Quality Sound

October 1, 2009

Switzerland (ChattahBox) – A group of researchers have found that a violin made of wood infected with fungi is able to be passed off as a Stradivarius.

The study was conducted after scientists realized that sound put through a tree infected with certain kinds of non-degrading fungus was able to amplify a warm, attractive tone.

Using this theory, they took different kinds of wood and infected them with different fungus. One was treated for six months, one for nine, and one for twelve.

The two that were treated for six and nine were cut into violins (the twelve was discarded, as cracks had begun to form in the wood).

The researchers than had renowned British violinist, Matthew Trusler, play for a group of 180 violin enthusiasts, using each of the infected instruments, a real Stradivarius, and two untreated violins.

An amazing 90% of those listening identified the one treated for nine months as the genuine Stradivarius. The authentic instrument came in second, the six-month treated third, and the two untreated tied for last.

The results bring up an interesting theory about the origins of the Stradivarius, as the founder Antonio Giacomo Stradivarius used a particular wood for his creations that were simulated by the fungi treatment.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that our violin would be identified as the Stradivarius.” Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research scientists, Francis Schwarze, was quoted by Discovery.

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