17 March 2012

Since publishing her research on player preferences among new and old violins Claudia Fritz has had to cope with a media storm – some articles concluding that the emperor is indeed naked, others featuring contributions from lofty concert soloists fulminating about how ‘it can take years to get the best out of a Stradivari’.

A typical headline was ‘Million-dollar Stradivarius loses out in play-off with modern violin’. A list of articles covering this story.

Claudia and her fellow researchers have come in for a lot of criticism of their methodology – mostly from people who seem not to have found it necessary to read the original peer-reviewed article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

I thought the experiment was fascinating and well conducted, and I found myself trying to set the record straight on Maestronet forums. I was delighted to see that some of these posts (and others by fellow Maetronet members) had in turn been picked up by Claudia Fritz and re-posted on her site.