Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old mysterious wood


"Sell me a violin, mister, of old mysterious wood.
Sell me a fiddle that has kissed dark nights on the forehead where men kiss sisters they love.
Sell me dried wood that has ached with passion clutching the knees and arms of a storm.
Sell me horsehair and rosin that has sucked at the breasts of the morning sun for milk.
Sell me something crushed in the heartsblood of pain readier than ever for one more song."

Cornhuskers. 1918.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) 

"...Nonetheless, some maintain that the best Stradivariuses have unique superiorities. Various attempts at explaining these supposed qualities have been undertaken, most results being unsuccessful or inconclusive.

A more modern theory attributes tree growth during a time of unusually low solar activity during the Maunder Minimum "Little Ice Age" from ca. 1645 to 1750. During this period, temperatures throughout Europe were much cooler causing stunted and slowed tree growth, which resulted in unusually dense wood. 

Further evidence for this "Little Ice Age theory" comes from a simple examination of the dense growth rings in the wood used in Stradivari's instruments."

No comments:

Blog Archive