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The Resonance Wood

Paneveggio01Italian Val di Fiemme spruce.
A slow and steady growth, a particular and unique climate, a right mix of light, heat and humidity, allows the red spruce (Picea abies Karst), present in the Forest of Paneveggio,(Trento, Italy) on 86% of the entire wooded surface, to produce, in very limited quantities, the resonance wood used for the realization of the soundboards of the best stringed instruments and pianos.

From 1700 to today, luthiers from all over the world choose the best woods for the soundboards of their precious instruments from this forest.

The uniqueness of this wood are given by special anatomical, physical-chemical, mechanical and acoustic characteristics.
It has no macroscopic defects, it has no knots, the fiber is straight and healthy with a constant regularity in the growth of the rings.



The large trunks with a diameter greater than 50/60 cm, between 150 and 250 years old, selected in the forest, provide the woods with the special and unique characteristics of the resonance.
For tradition and for the vegetative rest of plants in the forest, the felling of trees is performed during the moon waning cycle.

The obtained trunks are further selected and some are immersed for a few months in running water of the Travignolo Torrent  to improve its quality.

Among the selected plants, trunks are sometimes identified with indentations, particular introflections in the rings that create the characteristic appearance of the soundboards, once synonymous of resonance and high tonal capacity.

The trunks are cut, into circular sections without the bark, according to the measure of the soundboard that you will want to obtain: violas and violins, guitars, cellos or double basses.

Paneveggio03Then they are manually split by slit following the fiber and the veining and reduced to slices, and placed in piles in the shade for 6-7 months, where the wood is naturally dried. Then the wood is further selected and placed in the dryer / xiloteca, where it remains a few years.

The management and sale of resonance wood is managed by the qualified forestry staff of the Paneveggio Forestry Station.

The growth environment: natural woods between 1500 and 1900 meters of altitude.
The vegetative period is short-lived, it needs an adequate quantity of water and a cold and dry climate, this is the basis of a regular and optimal growth

Total annual wood cut: 4000 m3 - about 2000 plants. Of all this the wood of resonance is 1%, sufficient to produce 1500 violins or 600 guitars.Paneveggio05



In Paneveggio, spruce wood for the construction of instrument is chosen and cut following the Lunar Forestry Calendar. This wood, spruce (picea abies Karst), is called "Mondholz", Lunar Wood, because it cut in the days following the new moon in December.

A part of the obtained trunks are placed in the Travignolo Torrent where the winter water will "caress them, shake them, make them vibrate and play". In May they are taken and processed to obtain "washed" wooden boards.
This wood, much appreciated by the luthiers, stands out for its lightness and richness of harmonic vibrations that it produces and transmits to the musical instrument.


Paneveggio04Article extracted from:

Sherwood - Foreste ed Alberi Oggi
Special "Legno di Risonanza nella Foresta di Paneveggio"
Extract from numbers 154 and 155
Giuliano Zugliani, Chief Inspector of the Forestry Corps of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Commander of the Paneveggio-Cadino station.
Lisa Dotta, Graduated in Forestry and Environmental Technologies at the University of Padua.

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Francesco Verginelli
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