“Isabel was struggling for years with a full size violin. It was difficult for her to stretch the fourth finger, never mind the double-stops. Then we discovered that Douglas Cox has these wonderful 7⁄8 instruments. I cannot describe the difference in Isabel’s progress since she got your 7⁄8 violin! Thank you so much for your help — we could not do it without you!”
Sophie Vilker, violinist & teacher
In 2005, Carl Becker challenged me to develop a violin, smaller than full-size but bigger than ¾, to equal my full-size violins in tone quality and projection. My 7⁄8 size violins are built on a pattern derived from the violins of Joseph Guarneri “del Gesù,” during the 1730’s. The model is well suited to produce an even, strong, open and very rich sound for a compact violin that is easy to play.
Each instrument is made individually. Wood selection and styling are unique, and the dimensions will vary slightly from instrument to instrument. The basic dimensions of my 7⁄8 model are:
Body length: 345 mm
Upper bout: 165 mm
Middle bout: 112 mm
Lower bout: 202 mm
String length: 317 mm
Dimensions may vary from instrument to instrument. I use the same fine materials and workmanship as in my full-size models to result in instruments that satisfy the requirements of professional players of small stature, gifted young artists who have not reached their full growth, and all players for whom size is an issue.
“I have been playing the 7⁄8 violin, and I’m very happy with it. The violin is beautiful, and the sound is amazing – I love it. It can be very strong and at the same time very sweet. In addition, the size is perfect, it really fits me!” Mariesther Alvarez
Op. 743, 7⁄8 as “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri
“The lovely ¾ violin is in good hands. Kelley Jo won the Recital Competition playing it only two weeks after receiving it. Her eyes lit up when she heard the sound she could make. It filled the auditorium, and she thinks it was the key to her winning the competition.
Rebecca Henry, Chair, Peabody Conservatory
When a ¾ size violin performs well, it can equal a full-size violin in tone quality and projection, and has the advantage of playability for the smaller player. My ¾ violins are built on a pattern derived from the violins of Joseph Guarneri “del Gesù,” during the 1730’s. The model is well suited to produce an even, strong, open and very rich sound for a compact violin that is easy to play.
Each instrument is made individually. Wood selection and styling are unique, and the dimensions will vary slightly from instrument to instrument. The basic dimensions of my ¾ model are:
Body length: 335 mm
Upper bout: 161 mm
Middle bout: 110 mm
Lower bout: 199 mm
String length: 310 mm
I originally set about making a ¾ size violin for my young nephew. I soon realized that using the same fine materials and workmanship as for my full-size models would result in instruments that would be in demand for fine young violinists, players of small stature, and elders for whom a smaller instrument would be more comfortable. After ending a professional career some forty years earlier, Blanche Moyse began playing the violin again at age 96 — using one of my ¾ size violins.
“Thanks so much for letting us have the ¾ violin all this time. It made a huge difference in my mother’s life as a transitional object to retirement and gave her countless hours of enjoyment.”
Dominique Steinberg, daughter of Blanche Moyse
“My first Cox violin is a beautiful full-size Storioni copy. Then along came a ¾ that I was to give to one of my students to break in — and I fell in love with it. I am 4’8’’ and have always struggled with my fiddle size-wise. To play a smaller fiddle with a full-size sound and a ‘big heart’ was like a miracle and has been a huge inspiration for me.”
Michelle Liechti, violinist & teacher
Op. 665, 3/4 as Stradivarius 1716