By applying the latest cutting-edge technology, Italian scientists at the Elettra Synnchrotron Light Laboratory have concluded that the exquisite and incomparable sound produced by Cremonese violins is due to tiny imperfections in the instrument. Using a device akin to the Large Hadron Collider, scientists were able to “see” beneath the layers of paint and varnish and detected a considerable number of asymmetries, modifications and repairs – some with paper patches. What is so striking is that the secret of the Guadagnini and Stradivarius violins lies in their imperfections! “Harmonic rejection” – an effect produced when the wood is symmetrical and even is eliminated in these less-than-perfect instruments. Perhaps this is why we should be grateful for our imperfections as much as we aim to overcome them.