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Look Inside Stradivari



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Part of Musical Performance and Reception

  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521873048

£ 125.00

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About the Authors
  • For over 200 years, Antonio Stradivari has been universally regarded as the greatest violin maker who ever lived, yet it is not widely known that he made virtually every kind of bowed- and plucked-string instrument popular in the Baroque period, including lutes, viols, mandolins, guitars, and harps. Stradivari provides a fascinating biography of this legendary maker, based on newly discovered material in church and civic archives, alongside technical descriptions and analyses of many of the maker's workshop materials preserved in the Museo Stradivariano in Cremona, particularly as they relate to extant and lost instruments, baroque stringing and instrument adjustment, and early performance practice. There are separate chapters for each type of instrument, allowing the reader to easily locate information. The book contains tables of measurements of Stradivari's forms and patterns, over 100 black and white photographs and drawings, and colour photographs of 16 of Stradivari's most important violins, violas, and cellos.

    • Highly illustrated, the book contains over 100 black and white photographs of Stradivari's workshop materials, and colour photographs of 16 important Stradivari instruments
    • Includes fascinating biographical and historical information, and a step-by-step account of how Stradivari made his violins, making it appealing to enthusiasts as well as academics
    • Chapters are divided by instrument types, making it easy for the reader to locate information
    Read more


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this is a masterly study by an acknowledged expert …' The Tablet

    ' … for practitioners and teachers of any of the instruments investigated - the book is an extremely important tool in understanding the history and development of those instruments. It contains a great deal of useful resources: three appendices, extensive routes on primary and secondary sources, and a splendid bibliography. it is very much a book to be dipped into time and time again. Music Teacher

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521873048
    • length: 366 pages
    • dimensions: 284 x 227 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.51kg
    • contains: 135 b/w illus. 16 colour illus. 32 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Historical background
    2. Stradivari's workshop materials
    3. The violin forms and patterns
    4. Violin fittings and setup
    5. The dance master's kit
    6. The viola da gamba and viola d' amore
    7. The lute
    8. The mandola and mandolino
    9. The guitar
    10. The harp
    11. The workshop
    1. The Hill Bass-Bar collection
    2. Thomas Salmon's 'The Theory of Musick Reduced to Arithmetical and Geometric Proportions' from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1705
    3. A case study: The 'Messiah'
    Color plates.

  • Author

    Stewart Pollens, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    Stewart Pollens served as the conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1976 to 2006, where his duties included the restoration and maintenance of the museum's encyclopedic collection of over 5000 instruments.


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

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