“The restrictions affect a relatively small part of the town centre so the inconvenience to people is fairly limited.”
The instruments are so esteemed that they have individual names, including the Stauffer, a viola made in 1615 by craftsman Girolamo Amati, a violin called the Prince Doria, made in 1734 by the maestro Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu and a violin called Vesuvio – Vesuvius in English – that was crafted by Stradivari in 1727.
The instruments are played by musicians in an auditorium within the Violin Museum.
They will produce tens of thousands of notes which will be recorded by 32 ultra-sensitive microphones.
Even the lightbulbs in the auditorium have been unscrewed in order to stop a tiny buzzing sound that they emitted.
“Despite being 404 years old it still produces a soft, harmonic sound,” musician Marcello Schiavi said of the viola made in 1615.
The recordings will eventually be uploaded to an online “Bank of Sound” database that will be available to composers, musicians and sound technicians from around the world.