A summer project of mine is to take a look at optimizing the performance of fractional violins. To accomplish this, I have been purchasing examples of 1/4 and 1/2 sized violins. I am noticing that conventional string spacing leaves a lot of the fingerboard perimeter unused. My preference is illustrated by the violin photo to the right of the forum page (yes, I know that it is a five string, but you get the idea).
In the ordinary scheme of things, it is easy enough to notch new positions in the bridge. But the dimensions of extent bridges are not wide enough to do this. I know that finger dimensions are proportional to the size of the violin. Still, what I see does not look rational. I think that the bridges should be slightly wider than the present convention.
Comments from forum members with children or music teachers would be appreciated.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson
It depends on what you mean by performance? I'm not a teacher, but I personally tend to find wider string spacings harder to play because it's harder for my fingers to reach the lower strings, and from other violin forums I know that it's common for people to complain that string spacings are too wide for them to easily play a perfect 5th double stop. My belief is the exact opposite of yours, that string spacings should be slightly narrower!