Albertus Bekker's blog


Time to Tie a String Around That Strad

They talk about these bundles of wood and string as if they’re an extra limb, a repository of their DNA, a conduit to the very depths of their soul.

A Comparison of Wood Density between Classical Cremonese and Modern Violins

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The densities of five classical and eight modern violins were compared, using computed tomography and specially developed image-processing software.

Berend C. Stoel1, Terry M. Borman2

1 Department of Radiology, Division of Image Processing, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 Borman Violins, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States of America


Tools and techniques are circa 1700, but the violins are new

Tools and techniques are circa 1700, but the violins are new

The sign on the door says simply, “Guy Rabut, Violin Maker.” Behind the door, a 17th-century craftsman in 21st-century clothing spends his days in the company of knives, scrapers, chisels, sanders, handsaws, glues, varnishes and other materials needed to create violins, violas and cellos.


Guy RabutThese are my assistants,” Mr. Rabut said, speaking of the tools of a trade that first took center stage in the late 1600s, when Antonio Stradivari began making stringed instruments; he later emerged as the world’s most famous at the craft, the Picasso or Rembrandt of violin makers. Stradivari did his best work between 1700 and 1720; the violins he produced then earned a reputation for superior beauty and sound.

“He did not have the luxury, as I do, of power drills, computers or electric lights,” Mr. Rabut, 55, said of Stradivari. “That aside, most of my tools and techniques are identical to those he used to build these instruments back in his day.”

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