The Northern Italian city of Cremona is famous for its legendary violins. It was home to the Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati families of violinmakers, who, in the 17th and 18th centuries, built the world’s best violins. These ancient instruments still represent the pinnacle of violin (and cello) sound, but will that sound last forever? The people of Cremona are working to preserve the singular sound of their violins by recording them playing solo in absolute silence; a condition not easily achieved in a medieval town with cobblestone streets and echoing alley-ways. Read about the unique challenge facing these would-be archivists, see more photos, and hear the sounds, in the New York Times.