Tuned an octave above the alto, the soprano was designed to have as large a plate area as possible, with resulting shallow ribs and fairly large f holes to raise the cavity resonance to the desired G 392.The mensure is as long as possible for playing convenience.

J. S. Bach wrote for an instrument in this tuning, which Sir George Grove describes in Grove's dictionary "The violino piccolo is a small violin, with strings of a length suitable to be tuned a fourth above the ordinary violin. It existed in its own right for playing notes in a high compass... It survives as the 'threequarter violin' for children. Tuned like a violin, it sounds wretched, but in its proper pitch it has a pure tone color of its own, for which the high positions on the ordinary violin gave no substitute."