Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Original Sound of Stradivarius


Recommended Posts

Do we know what an original Stradivarius sounded like? The messiah violin is that still in the same condition  as when Stradivarius finished it? We’re the instruments original graduations altered when the necks were reset. Just curious when I hear people talk about the sound of Stradivarius and if he came back would he recognises the sound of his violins. Thanks G 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 176
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

28 minutes ago, GerardM said:

Do we know what an original Stradivarius sounded like?

Probably similar to a baroque set up fine violin, given that it has proper time correct strings and a bow. The pitch may have been different. I do not know what the correct pitch would be in Cremona at that time. Could have been both higher or lower pitch than today. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Anders Buen said:

Probably similar to a baroque set up fine violin, given that it has proper time correct strings and a bow. The pitch may have been different. I do not know what the correct pitch would be in Cremona at that time. Could have been both higher or lower pitch than today. 

Was the original neck the same weight?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GerardM said:

[...]if he came back would he recognises the sound of his violins.

IMO, definitely not.

On a side note I was thinking why the transformation of the original baroque setup to modern setup was in most cases successful, and in a good percentage of his output absolutely exceptional for the sound.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GerardM said:

1. Do we know what an original Stradivarius sounded like?

2. The messiah violin is that still in the same condition  as when Stradivarius finished it?

1. Nope.

2. Nope.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

IMO, definitely not.

On a side note I was thinking why the transformation of the original baroque setup to modern setup was in most cases successful, and in a good percentage of his output absolutely exceptional for the sound.

 

Huh?

Howdya know that?

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, sospiri said:

1. Nobody living has ever played it?

2. Because it's got a soundpost crack?

Assuming that you are referring to the Messiah Strad, it is not in original condition, and the neck, while somewhat original,  has been highly modified and tweaked.

And yes, no one living has played it in its original condition, unless they are well past their 150th birthday.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sospiri said:

Was the original neck the same weight?

Not particularly important, exept for a shorter string length, which does matter. The bridge and strings are important. The shorter and ligter fingerboard is probaly not important. 

I know this bcause I have done a transition like that and measured each step from violin to a Hardangerfiddle. The neck is very different then more pegs and weight, but I doubt that anyone could hear the differences it made to the instrument response.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Assuming that you are referring to the Messiah Strad, it is not in original condition, and the neck, while somewhat original,  has been highly modified and tweaked.

And yes, no one living has played it in its original condition, unless they are well past their 150th birthday.

Ya don't shaaay.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Anders Buen said:

Not particularly important, exept for a shorter string length, which does matter. The bridge and strings are important. The shorter and ligter fingerboard is probaly not important. 

I know this bcause I have done a transition like that and measured each step from violin to a Hardangerfiddle. The neck is very different then more pegs and weight, but I doubt that anyone could hear the differences it made to the instrument response.

If I was to make a Strad original style neck, what should I model it on? Are there plans that I could follow?

Scaled down Medici Tenor?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay...just pondering...

But when Strad made a violin, baroque style (shorter neck/different angle), with gut strings, played at ~415 Hz, ~360 years ago...

There's no way we could know what it sounded like. Right?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, sospiri said:

If I was to make a Strad original style neck, what should I model it on? Are there plans that I could follow?

Scaled down Medici Tenor?

I am sure you can figure out this on your own. My replies are to the original question. What did the Strads sound like originally?

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, sospiri said:

If I was to make a Strad original style neck, what should I model it on? Are there plans that I could follow?

Scaled down Medici Tenor?

Maybe something from Sacconis book can be used?

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Anders Buen said:

I am sure you can figure out this on your own. My replies are to the original question. What did the Strads sound like originally?

They sounded better. More tone, less volume.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Dey shounded jush great when dey wash foysht made dontcha tink?

 

How would either you or I know, unless we have solid and reliable contact with the spiritual realm, or time travel?

Most of my income has come from time-travel back to Stradivari's time, selling toilet paper. It was a hot commodity back when people mostly used their hands, their sleeves, the hems of their skirts, or an erect middle finger. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My best guess is: more quiet, maybe a little more annoying high frequency, assuming that the original bridge design has a higher in plane resonance. The lighter and shorter bassbar - I do not know. Grandpa and I have used short low bars for years. Maybe it makes the fiddle a little deeper sounding on the lows. 

I do not know how the original strings looked, if they were overwound some of them or not. Certinly the plain gut E-string may sound and play different. 

There are elements of this on the hardanger fiddle. E.g the shorter stringlength, gut strings on two or three strings. A flatter and slightly lower bridge. We tune them higher though than the standard pitch.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

We can guess that they sounded a lot like a good baroque violin. 

But the OP questions are a touch whacky.  Obviously we aren't time travelers, so can't actually experience how they sounded back then.  No, there weren't any records for us to hear.  No, centuries old violins aren't unaged or unchanged.  There is no violin today that we can assume sounds exactly as it did then.

Take a Strad or other and put in good baroque setup. That's the best estimate we can make.

But we can know that Strad violins were successful in his lifetime.  It didn't take huge amounts of aging for the youger Amati generations to compete with the older, nor for Strad to compete with the older Cremona instrument.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, GerardM said:

Do we know what an original Stradivarius sounded like? The messiah violin is that still in the same condition  as when Stradivarius finished it? 

3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Assuming that you are referring to the Messiah Strad, it is not in original condition, and the neck, while somewhat original,  has been highly modified and tweaked.

And yes, no one living has played it in its original condition, unless they are well past their 150th birthday.

The "original condition" was when it was just made.  Aside from modifications, it is also now over 300 years old.  If you want to hear what they sounded like, have a good maker make an accurate copy with new wood.  Depending on the wood choice and skill of the maker, it might sound OK, but it won't sound like a 300 year old Strad (which can be better or worse, depending on the instrument and its state of health).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...