March 5, 2012

"Spiders might soon give you goosebumps in a good way."

"Strands of spider silk have been used to make violin strings that have a unique and thrilling sound, thanks perhaps to the way the strands deform when twisted."

11 comments:

edutcher said...

The Japanese are very good at things like this.

Surprised it took so long; you'd think this is one of those delicate little arts they would have mastered long ago.

deborah said...

Have substances such as human hair or silk already been tried?

Chip S. said...

I look forward to hearing every recorded version of the opening two chords of the "Eroica" being covered by an all-spider-silk-strings orchestra.

wv esespol: Spanish slang for any comment thread about the Rush Limbaugh/Sandy Fluke shitstorm.

EDH said...

Chris Matthews and his leg can hardly wait.

traditionalguy said...

The sound it makes is terrible. Other than that it is nifty.

Henry said...

More evidence of global warming.

Phil said...

I've played guitar strings made from nickel winding wrapped around a silk core. Yes, it sounds entirely different than metal core strings.

wildswan said...

They used to use spider web strings on slide rules as the marking line. There was factory in Hoboken that used to make slide rules. The rumor was that the basement has been full of spiders spinning and when the factory closed they just left without clearing out the spiders and -- (in lowered voice) they are still there. Sometimes people break in to check the story out and (lower voice still) the spiders ... get ... them ...
So we need to be careful about starting another industry using spider webs.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

deborah,

Have substances such as human hair or silk already been tried?

As cores for strings? I don't think so. Though there's a very creepy cantata by Charles Martin Loeffler in which the hair of a dead woman is used to rehair a bow. Kind of like "The Red Violin" (where I understand blood was infused into the instrument's varnish), only rather more than a century earlier.

I wish I could brush off the Loeffler, but honestly there isn't a lot of viola d'amore repertoire. You take what you can get.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Old Dan Wheeling has bee honey in his strings.

deborah said...

Thanks, Michelle, cool.