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Bailey Hall

Composers’ Forum

The Composers’ Forum brings distinguished guest composers to the campus several times a year, in addition to providing opportunities for faculty members and graduate students to discuss their own work and topics of musical relevance. The Composers’ Forum takes place on Fridays at 1:25 PM in the Alfred E. Kahn Seminar Room, room 316, within the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance (220 Lincoln Hall), except where noted. All meetings are open to the public.

Monday, March 27
   4:00 pm
Rockefeller Hall Schwartz Auditorium

General Physics Colloquium and Henley Lecture, Joseph Curtin, Joseph Curtin Studios, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Mr. Curtin builds violins and violas, is deeply involved in acoustical research, and is passionately committed to the ongoing evolution of violin family instruments.

Refreshments from 3:30-3:50 pm.

Title:  Can Stradivari’s Sound Be Measured?

Host:  Peter Wittich

Abstract:  It has long been believed that Stradivari and his contemporaries in 18th Century Italy built violins with playing qualities that later makers have been unable to match. In recent years, however, a team of researchers led by Claudia Fritz and Joseph Curtin have shown that under double-blind conditions neither professional violinists nor experienced listeners can tell Old Italian violins from new ones at better than chance levels. Moreover, players and listeners tend to prefer the new. Violin-maker, researcher, and MacArthur Fellow Joseph Curtin will discuss recent developments in violin science, and his own interest in measuring violin sound in order to establish objective parameters for violin quality.