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What does a spider silk violin sound like?


The new design is first major innovation for the classic instrument in 400 years.

With his fresh take on violin design, Italian born Luca Alessandrini won the International Student Innovation Award 2016. An engineering and design student at Imperial College, he chose to include his love of music in his project, exploring ways to improve upon the design of the most standard instrument in Western music. His spider silk violin is the first major innovation of the classical instrument in almost 400 years.

Benedetta Bacialli, brings us the whole story out of LifeGate:

“Violin is the most iconic, the most difficult instrument to play, has not undergone changes for nearly 400 years and has a long tradition. Changing it seemed to me an inspiring provocation,” Alessandrini explains. Violins are being made of carbon fiber since the ‘70s and the sound box is made of chipboard, a cheap but non-eco-friendly material. Driven by a strong desire for innovation, Luca Alessandrini takes on a real challenge that leads him to reach unimaginable goals in less than one year.

The sound produced by spider silk is a much warmer tone than a traditional wooden violin. The hard wood gives emphasis to the scratching of the bow on the strings, where the silk softens it and gives primacy to the tone of the sound. While the wood may have a bit of a brighter tone, I would imagine that an orchestra of these silk violins would blend beautifully.

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