Dutch researchers applied modern medical scanning techniques to determine that the wood used in Stradivarius and Guarnerius violins has remarkably consistent density with close growth rings and little variation – possibly the product of the mini ice-age that occurred in the early 17th century.

Many have suggested it was athe special varnish – but on most of the surviving strads much of teh original varnish has worn off or has been replaced – so it’s down to the timber.

The researchers used a CT scanning machine using software developed to measure lung density in people suffering form lung conditions to measure the violins’ density in a non-destructive way. The tests were performed blind with the instruments annonymised – and a viola thrown in for scale.

This news came from the Science Daily