The Science of Siren Songs: Stradivari Unveiled is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and master violinmaker and acoustician Joseph Curtin, recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. This wide-ranging conversation explores Curtin’s long quest to characterize the sound of a Stradivari violin and the rigorous series of double-blind tests he and his colleagues developed to probe whether or not professional musicians can really tell the difference between a Stradivari and a modern violin.
The conversation also covers violin acoustics and how Joseph Curtin marries acoustic science to the art of violin making and merges time-honoured techniques with new materials and design.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Finding What You’re Looking For, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
- Finding One’s Niche – Becoming a violinmaker
- Confronting Biases – Measuring a mystery
- Characterizing Sound – Towards objectivity
- Making Modern Violins – In search of a new aesthetic
- The Future Awaits – Digital violins, new books and more
This book is also part of Conversations About Anthropology & Sociology which is available in paperback, hardcover and electronic format.
Available via all major online booksellers, including:
- Joseph Curtin (Master Violinmaker and Acoustician)
- Mark Maslin (UCL)
- Ian Stewart (Warwick University)
- Frans de Waal (Emory University)
- Fred Gitelman (Former World Champion Bridge)