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Retired A&M professor discovers secret behind famous Stradivarius violins

Posted at 12:34 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 19:41:04-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A retired Texas A&M biochemistry professor is seeing many years of theories become a reality.

Joseph Nagyvary initially proposed the theory that chemicals were used by Antonio Stradivari to help provide the unique sounds produced by his famous Stradivarius violins over 40 years ago.

Now, in a new research paper, the study finds that he and other famous instrument makers of the time, utilized chemicals and preservatives to treat their instruments, while also yielding unique sound.

"Stradivari probably or most likely started out with fresh wet wood or moist wood where the wood cells were still open and that's how he put it in a tank of water with salt and then eventually saturated it with salt," Nagyvary said.

Today, only about 600 Stradivari violins exist in the world. They have been valued at upwards of $10 million.

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