Scientists may finally have discovered the secret of Stradivarius violins.
Dutch researchers ran five of the peerless instruments, made in the early 18th century by Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari and synonymous with harmonic perfection, through a CT scanner
The resulting three-dimensional X-rays revealed that wood used in Stradivari's violins possessed an exceptionally uniform density, with little variation in growth rings added by trees each season
Summertime growth typically outpaces wintertime growth, producing broad rings of relatively permeable wood that alternate with narrow, dense winter bands. That differential affects the wood's harmonic qualities
Fortunately for Stradivari, he lived during the Little Ice Age: trees grew little more in summer than in winter
Are there musical instruments that would benefit from the highly variable grains likely produced in the wildy oscillating growing seasons of our changing climate?