This is where science and music meet: how has the evolution of the violin’s shape and features affected its sound?
“How Did the Violin Get Its Shape?” – Science Friday
Science Friday asked Dan Chitwood, a plant biologist (as well as a violist), how the shapes of objects – both living and not – evolve with time. Learn what historical and cultural forces have (literally) shaped the violin, and hear his view on a big question: does the shape of a Stradivarius really produce a better sound?
“In a way, violin shape is acting a lot like a viral meme. Shape is changing with time, and as a biologist, I really wanted to know mechanistically, why is the shape is changing with time?”
Listen to Science Friday’s program: How Did the Violin Get Its Shape?
“How A Violin’s F-Holes Influence Its Sound” – ScienceNews
Why are the f-holes in violins shaped that way? MIT scientists studies how the shapes affect the airflow through a violin, and how the shapes affect the sounds of that violin. Similar to Chitwood’s study above, these scientists discovered that the f-holes of violins may have evolved over time for a distinct purpose: acoustic power.
“The calculations could explain why Amati violins, which have shorter f-holes and less reverberating power, are preferred in small chamber ensembles while Guarneri violins, with longer f-holes and more resonating power, are favored in larger ensembles and concert halls, the scientists say.”
Read story in ScienceNews: How A Violin’s F-Holes Influence Its Sound
And if all of this talk of violins has you in need of hearing some masterful violin playing, enjoy this video of Joshua Bell: