A FEW years ago Francis Schwarze noticed something unusual. Dr Schwarze, who works at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, in St Gallen, knew that sound travels faster through healthy wood, which is stiff and dense, than it does through the soft stuff left by a fungal attack. But some fungi, he found, do not slow sound. Moreover, the acoustic properties of wood so affected seem to be just what violin-makers desire. So Dr Schwarze had some violins made from the infected wood and discovered that they sounded like a Stradivarius.

Dr Schwarze is now trying to standardise this fungal treatment in order to make what he calls “mycowood”. His hope is that it will endow modern instruments with the warm and mellow tones found in those made during the late 17th and early 18th centuries by Antonio Stradivari.

RTWT

1 Comment

  1. wow, that’s awesome! Another good reason why they should reintodruce the funghi-class at my uni.