Stradivarius: Music of the Golden Ratio

For generations, violins created by the master luthier Stradivarius are known for their tone quality and their aesthetic form. Genuine Stradivarius violins were highly sought after, prized and treasured. However what is most amazing about his violins was that they were designed and build around the golden ratio.

The Golden Ratio \phi = \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2} = 1.61803 can be found throughout the violin by dividing lengths of specific parts of the violin:

lady_blunt_golden
The “lady blunt” violin with golden sections marked out.
  • (a_1 + a_2) / a_2 = \phi
  • a_2 / a_1 = \phi
  • b_2 / b_1 = \phi
  • b_2 / c_2 = \phi
  • c_2 / c_1 = \phi

In 2011, the “Lady Blunt”, a violin made by Stradivarius for the granddaughter of Lord Byron, sold for £9.8 million (or $15.9 million), topping the record for highest price for a violin by four times. The proceeds went to relief groups during after the Japanese Earthquake.

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