13 January 2012
Lovers of the much-revered Italian Stradivarius violins have dismissed news that they may not be as good as modern violins. The results of a test in the US have shown that most players prefer the sound of a new instrument.
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For generations, lovers of classical music have believed that when it comes to the violin, there is nothing finer than the sound of a Stradivarius. But research in America has challenged the mystique surrounding the famous old instruments.
Tests involving more than 20 professional violinists were conducted in a hotel in Indiana. The violinists were made to wear goggles that blinded them.
They couldn't tell whether they were playing an antique Stradivarius, or a brand new instrument. And most of the musicians decided that they liked the new ones best.
But they've been unimpressed by this in a place called Cremona, the home town of the Stradivarius violin. At the instrument museum there, a spokesman said the American survey was no more than "media hype".
He said that for hundreds of years the world of music had recognised the quality of the Stradivarius.
Click to hear the vocabulary
- when it comes to (something)
regarding, in connection with (something)
- has challenged
- the mystique
the specialness and strangeness
a device to cover the eyes
- brand new
never used before
- liked the new ones best
preferred the new ones
- unimpressed by (something)
not made to feel admiration for (something)
- home town
town where someone is from
- media hype
something which had its importance exaggerated by news outlets
accepted as the truth