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Old 09-12-2012, 05:58 PM
violakat violakat is offline
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Default Piccolo Violin

Is the main reason you haven't delved in the treble violin because of the strings or are there other reasons? Also, have you looked into strings made by spider silk? I'm not sure if that would help with tension, but thought it might be interesting.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:00 PM
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rjspear rjspear is offline
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Aha! We meet again!

The treble violin (or piccolo violin as the Europeans call it) is the bad little brat of the family. Most people who try it tend to drop it after contending with the short string length for a while. The few who have continued tend to be small in stature. The problem, as you have correctly assumed, is the E string. Knowing the parameters of the special wire allows us to compute the maximum safe string length, and then the instrument is designed around that. It's truly a case where the tail wags the dog because the piccolo violin breaks just about all the scaling theories on which the larger members of the family are based.

There are some amazing synthetic materials out there that will bear the pitch easily. I once had some gel-spun polyethylene (sold as Dyneema or Spectra) that could be tuned to almost twice the required pitch. It was actually an awesome moment, but the way the material is manufactured leaves it inherently slippery, and the bow won't grab the string no matter how much rosin you apply. It's also very limp under the fingers and crushes under the bow, so we're still looking.
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