18 June 2012
The Fritz/Curtin ‘double blind’ experiment attempted to find out how easily players could distinguish new violins from old Italians such as Stradivaris. The same researchers are now interested in finding out how closely a player’s estimation of an instrument’s projection corresponds with that of a listener; how much a listener’s opinion depends on where they sit in the hall; and whether instruments that are quiet under the ear can indeed project well. Take a look at this on-line discussion of the issues on Maestronet. The experiment is still being designed – there’s already a lot of debate about its objectives, and about how it might achieve them. And of course there’s no agreed definition of “projection”, or any agreement about how (or why) a contemporary violin-maker might pursue this particular quality. It’s all shaping up to be at least as controversial as the “old vs. new” experiment.
Mutes : do they all sound the same? We would be happy to lend our collection of violin mutes for the purposes of acoustical research.