Making The Stradivarius
A Stradivarius is a stringed instrument made by the Stradivari family. Started by Antonio Stradivari, these instruments are considered the finest ever made. Sadly, his son never passed on the secrets and they died with him. The sounds from these instruments is said to be "direct and precise" as they respond to the slightest touch of refined direction and elegance. The most curious things about a Stradivarius is that, no matter who picks it up and plays it, they will play that instrument better than they can any other of its kind. A bad player will still be bad but he will be noticibly less bad on a Stradivarius. A master player will play so well on a Stradivarius that folks swear the angels weep at the beauty. It is believed that Antonio made about 1,116 instruments throughout his life. As far as it is known there are about 700 known to still exist.
What Is It?
The first step was in the various woods used to make the different parts. Maple was used to make the the back, ribs, and neck. Spruce was used to make the top. Willow was for the internal blocks and and linings. These woods were first treated with a preservative that was a mix of alluminum, copper, and calcium in the drying process before being shaped. A varnish made of Cremonese resin, oil, and pigment was applied after the shaping and before assembly. This knowledge was of little use to his competitors as they, too, often used the same material. The degree of perfection that went into ever piece, however, made a significant difference. This craftsmanship was so masterful that few could even come close to match, yet even this was not why the Stradivarius instruments became so legendary for their perfection that each one was given a name. What brought them to creating such legendary sound is the magic that Antonio, and possibly his son Omobono, cast into them. No other wizard has ever figured out what those spells were, not even Johan. Johan, however, has no interest in researching these spells despite his love of music. He is quite happy to allow these instruments to be the precious wonders that they have become.
How They're Made
The son and 6th born child of Antonio Stradivari, he worked in his father's shop but never took to making his own instruments. What is believed is he tooled the scrolling work upon the instruments. Beyond that, he did all the repair work of instruments brought back to his father's shop. When Antonio died, there were never anymore new instruments made and Omobono decided to retire and live off of his inheritance. When Omobono died in 1742, so did the last chance for the world to know the secret of the making the fantastic instruments.
by Edgar Bundy