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How to make your own violin

Do Stradivari’s instruments deserve their reputation?

The “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius, made in 1721, and sold for £10m in 2011. (© Tarisio)

I’ve been making a violin for the past couple of years. So as soon as I heard about the Ashmolean Museum’s recent exhibition of stringed instruments by Antonio Stradivari, the most celebrated luthier of all time, I was off to Oxford to pay my respects to the master.

I wasn’t surprised by the near-religious silence of the room in which 20 of the greatest instruments in the world, each worth millions, were displayed. To music…

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