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Anybody know about fractional violins -- when were they introduced, who first made them, what years they started to be readily available. Are there any antique examples? I thought I heard somewhere that, possibly in Bach's time, children did not start playing the violin until at least 10 years old because smaller child-sized violins were not popular, or that they weren't usually made. Can anyone clear this up for me? 1. Mozart played on a fractional @ age 5? 2. Suzuki was the one who made fractional instruments popular because of his method starting off with very young players. Plus his father owned a violin making factory which is where a lot of the first fractional instruments came from. 3. Contemporary players and teachers reporting playing on 1/2-size instruments made c. 1700-1880. 4. Stefan Milenkovich played on a fractional Stradivari in front of Bush in 1987? 5. From the National Music History Museum: fractionals existed, but only as specialty commissions, usually by royalty. See graphic. 6. Sarah Chang had a 1700s 1/4 size as a kid. 7. Vivaldi taught younger girls at the orphanage, so there must have been smaller instruments (?). [ http://www.users.cloud9.net/~recross/why-not/Vivaldi.html ]
Did any of the 16th, 17th, 18th, or even 19th century master luthiers make fractionals that would today be considered masterpieces ~ just smaller? I've not seen references to named famous instruments played by children, like the ex-Young Midori or the ex-Young Sarah Chang or the ex-Young Yo-Yo Ma. Did they simply have to wrestle with full-sized instruments when performing with major orchestras? Thanks.