Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, and died in 1737, and in his 93 years, he established himself as the greatest violin maker in the history of mankind. He was born in Italy, and worked in Cremona for the majority of his life. Although he was Italian, he would inscribe his violins with Latin slogans, hence, the violins became known as Antonius Stradivarius violins, or merely Stradivarius violins, rather than Stradivari violins. His mentor was believed to be Nicolo Amati, who also came from a very famous family of violin-makers. The reason why the Stradivarius violins
are so expensive and famous, is because of the quality of their sound. Many musicians have not only owned the violins, but have preferred them over any other violin. The sound of these infamous violins resonate beautifully, and produce very powerful tones. They are rich, refined, and deep in sound, and project very clearly over a distance. These violins are thought of as good-quality instruments, and musicians delight in playing them, for they are very easy to play on. They are responsive to the touch of a finger, and one does not feel like he or she needs to press firmly in order to produce a sound. Some of the Stradivarius violins differ in quality and sound, however. Not every single Stradivarius instrument sounds the exact same, or is as good as the other. There are some which are believed to be of better quality than others. No one truly knows exactly why the sound of the Stradivarius violins is so wonderful, but there are many theories as to what makes a violin a good violin. The quality of the wood is a definite factor, as well as the shape of the instrument, the thickness of the wooden plates that are placed in the belly and the back of the instrument, and the varnish of the wood. Even though no one really knows how exactly he formed his violins, or what methods he used, it can definitely be said that he incorporated advanced geometry and mathematics into his craftsmanship. He built over 1,100 instruments, but merely 650 of them survive today.