Joseph Curtin

Jul 30, 2021

The Science of Siren Songs

Stradivari Unveiled

Open Agenda 2021

The Science of Siren Songs: Stradivari Unveiled is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and master violinmaker and acoustician Joseph Curtin, recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. This in-depth conversation explores Curtin’s long quest to characterize the sound of a Stradivari violin and the rigorous series of double-blind tests he and his colleagues developed to probe whether or not professional musicians can really tell the difference between a Stradivari and a modern violin. The conversation also covers violin acoustics and how Joseph Curtin marries acoustic science to the art of violin making and merges time-honoured techniques with new materials and design.

Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at

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