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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Episode 538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

A Stradivarius violin is pictured at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris, on December 3, 2009.
PATRICK KOVARIK
/
AFP/Getty Images

A trumpet is more or less a trumpet. A clarinet is a clarinet. But violin or a viola... they are different. More like living breathing things. Hand crafted from wood, from a tree. Every one is different. And, you know the story. Antonio Stradivari, was the master. Some say the greatest violin maker to ever live. The Stradivarius is one of the most powerful and expensive brands in the world.

And certainly, the guy made really nice instruments. But how nice exactly. This is a question that comes up all the time with all kinds of products: coffee, clothes, dish washing detergent, jeans and shoes. How much of a brand is real? And how much is in our heads?

Of course you could do a test with a stradivarius to answer this exact question. And In fact, in 2010, researchers did just that.

Music: Disclosure's "White Noise feat. (Aluna George)" Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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