String Theory

International violinist Daniel Hope examines the mysteries of the violin. No one knows who invented it and it was often seen as the Devil's instrument, certainly one that most resembles the human voice and thought at one time to be able to steal men's souls. Exploring its history, Hope offers up his own thoughts on the violin's musical DNA, what he calls the 'soul and feeling of the violin' that can be traced back to countries as diverse as Mongolia, China, India and Arabia. As well as featuring music from the four corners of the world, the programme looks at the transformation of the bow as a tool of war to an instrument of music. And there's a rare chance for Daniel to get his hands on an early instrument built by a descendant of the Father of the Violin, Andrea Amati, on which he plays excerpts from the earliest published violin sonata, written in 1610.