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david robertson

Odd Tuning In A C/g Jeffries

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I'm just starting work on a 38k Jeffries with lovely engraved ends, and I've discovered a peculiarity in the tuning. Try to play a scale of G on the right hand, and you find that where the F# should be, there is a G# from the octave below. This is clearly the original arrangement, but can anyone suggest why?

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A person who only played left hand chords or a "viola" part with occasional right hand help? Or their left index finger was too short to reach the far row?

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I'm just starting work on a 38k Jeffries with lovely engraved ends, and I've discovered a peculiarity in the tuning. Try to play a scale of G on the right hand, and you find that where the F# should be, there is a G# from the octave below. This is clearly the original arrangement, but can anyone suggest why?

Can you be 100% sure this was the original arrangement David? Is that particular chamber and reed shoe longer than 'normal'? I can't imagine why anyone would want this arrangement, unless the draw F# is somewhere else. Is the push one on button 1b? (He says with confidence to show off and use Gary's new numbering system)

 

Adrian

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I'm quite sure that the layout is original, Adrian. My friend John Warren has pointed out that it occurs more often than you would expect in untouched Jeffries instruments.

In this case there is at least an F# available, on the sole button in the 4th (innermost) row.

I did come across something similar last year, but in that case the F# was replaced by an E natural, and there was no F# available anywhere. The owner was adamant that I shouldn't change anything!

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I'm quite sure that the layout is original, Adrian. My friend John Warren has pointed out that it occurs more often than you would expect in untouched Jeffries instruments.

In this case there is at least an F# available, on the sole button in the 4th (innermost) row.

I did come across something similar last year, but in that case the F# was replaced by an E natural, and there was no F# available anywhere. The owner was adamant that I shouldn't change anything!

 

Would John like to give a figure on these occurrences David? Is it something found only on the 39 button layout, or has he also seen it on a 45, or for that matter a 31 button layout? What about the Crabb and Shakespeare 39ers? As I see it, it can either be an original variation, might form part of a certain players preferences, be a 'fix' by a common repairer or perhaps a bit of all three. It would be good to document this here though so we can try to understand the logic.

 

You say "In this case there is at least an F# available, on the sole button in the 4th (innermost) row." Isn't this f# an octave higher, a semitone lower than the top note, or is that missing as well? In all my 39ers, this button has the smallest reed frame size and plays the high f natural and f#.

 

To return to the 'rogue' G#, is this a weighted tongue in a normal sized frame, or is it a larger frame size than you'd expect in this chamber?

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian

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Adrian,

John tells me that the wandering F# appears on two of his own Jeffries, and on two more owned by our mutual friend Rod Ward. Here's what he said:

 

"This configuration allows the home position to be held whilst playing a complete RH octave using all 4 fingers of the RH. By home position I mean that when playing in C maj the index finger is on the C/B button, the middle finger is on the E/D button, the ring finger is on the G/F button and the little finger is on the c/A button. Normally I would move all 4 fingers up one place to play the high B (pull with the little finger), but it could be played with the middle finger by dropping down to the G row and pushing instead of pulling. This means that the home position can be retained whilst playing the complete C maj scale.Assuming this were to be your preferred way of playing the scale it might then be also preferred to use this same pattern when playing the G maj scale on the G row. This would mean having the 7th note of this scale (F#) on the push of the single button of the extra row (the button exactly on the middle of the fretwork on the RHS).

 

Quite why though the F# pull on the G row is then replaced with a G# escapes me unless it enables easier playing in the key of A maj."

 

This seems like an eminently plausible explanation, though it can only apply to 39-key instruments. It also demands that the innermost button should be arranged F#/F (press/draw), whereas this one is the other way about. Still, it's an easy switch.

 

Finally, the G#5 in the corner where the F# should be looks perfectly normal, unweighted, and appropriate for its slot (see attached pic).post-1437-0-14785400-1518123863_thumb.jpg

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Sorry David, my mistake entirely!

 

I thought you were talking about the f# an octave below, on button 6, not the high one - which in my mind then gave you a G press/ G# draw on button 6!!!

 

On my instruments this (button 10) is always a g# draw/Bb push and the high f#/fnat. are as you say, on the single button of the extra row (Gary's 7c) It's true that is is different from the Jeffries 31 layout, where the high f# is on button 10 - but at the risk of contrary opinion on this, I'd say it was pretty standard on a Jeffries 39!

 

Adrian

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I have not seen many 39 button Jeffries set up like yours David, but it seems logical that anyone coming from the 31 button system to the 39 would be confused by the shifted f# and it must have been one of the alternatives. I assume that your button 10 is coupled with a high eb? So the next question is what you have on button 7c instead of the f#/fnat?

I’ve played many Jeffries anglos with the 39 layout, others by Crabb and Shakespeare as well as modern instruments by Jürgen Suttner, and after a while, you do slowly start to see a method in the madness of all the variants! I’m just wondering if Geoff Crabb could come up with a piece of paper from somewhere deep in his archives with the magic words “Standard 39 keyboard layout” written on it :-)

Adrian

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My Jeffries; like Adrian's; has Bb/G# on button 10 and F#/F on button 7c

 

But this prompts me to ask - what do you have on button 1b - I have an F#/G#

 

The pushed F# is obviously very useful .... but that pulled G# means I have two of those ( and the normal pushed one on 3a )

 

I'd be interested to learn what your instruments have ?

 

Andrew

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My Jeffries; like Adrian's; has Bb/G# on button 10 and F#/F on button 7c

 

But this prompts me to ask - what do you have on button 1b - I have an F#/G#

 

The pushed F# is obviously very useful .... but that pulled G# means I have two of those ( and the normal pushed one on 3a )

 

I'd be interested to learn what your instruments have ?

 

Andrew

 

Hi Andrew,

 

On 1b, I like you have a push f#, but a draw A, duplicate of LH button 5 - it's very useful for the common downwards run d,c,b,a, g, where you only then have to play the g on the left.

 

For what it's worth, I'll attach my layout, which I have adapted from one of Jürgens technical drawing layouts. (The notes in the red boxes are those that are different from Jürgen's layout.)

 

Adrian

Adrian key_layout_jeff_39.pdf

Edited by adrian brown

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Thanks Adrian. I was thinking about getting that note changed to something more useful, I’ll think seriously about that A.

 

Andrew

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Just to round your topic off David, it would be interesting to know what your 39er has on the right hand 7c, where Andrew and I (and presumably the beautiful engraved one you are restoring?) have our high f#? I get the feeling this question of the 39 layout and its variants deserves it's own thread, so I'll start one...

 

Adrian

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For what it's worth, my own 39er has the high F# in the 'normal' position!

 

Sorry to bother you again with this David, but if you do get a moment to reveal what notes your 39er has on the "the single button of the extra row (the button exactly on the middle of the fretwork on the RHS)" (Gary's RH 7c), I would be very interested.

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian

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I’ve played many Jeffries anglos with the 39 layout, others by Crabb and Shakespeare as well as modern instruments by Jürgen Suttner, and after a while, you do slowly start to see a method in the madness of all the variants! I’m just wondering if Geoff Crabb could come up with a piece of paper from somewhere deep in his archives with the magic words “Standard 39 keyboard layout” written on it :-)

 

Adrian

 

'Standard layout' in respect to Anglos of more that 20 buttons is perhaps a misnomer and I think it would be hard to find any of the old makers literature or receipts actually annotated as such.

Because of the variation in note allocation by the same maker, that appear to be original, 'Typical' is, perhaps, more apt.

Because of this, I can only offer the following 'layout' which I constructed from the original plans of a J Crabb instrument made in 1877

38 ANGLO CG sequence.doc

 

As an aside, to avoid confusion the wind button and any novelty buttons should not be included in the button count on Concertinas, especially Anglos. Only Buttons that sound actual reeded notes should be included.

 

Geoffrey

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Thanks so much Geoffrey for this valuable information, which goes a long way towards Wayman’s and my own suspicions about a ‘typical’ note layout for this type of anglo. Although there will be many instruments around today that do not conform to this, it’s pretty impossible to be sure of how many of them would have been different originally, and how many were modified on a later whim. Still this information from such an early date certainly helps our hypothesis. Am I correct in thinking that around 1877, your (Great?) Grandfather was still supplying instruments to the Jeffries firm?

Thanks again for your generosity,

Adrian

 

Edited to add: Wow, just realised I am now a boxer! A nice post to hit that particular punchbag with...

Edited by adrian brown

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For what it's worth, my own 39er has the high F# in the 'normal' position!

 

Sorry to bother you again with this David, but if you do get a moment to reveal what notes your 39er has on the "the single button of the extra row (the button exactly on the middle of the fretwork on the RHS)" (Gary's RH 7c), I would be very interested.

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian

 

For what it's worth, my own 39er has the high F# in the 'normal' position!

 

Sorry to bother you again with this David, but if you do get a moment to reveal what notes your 39er has on the "the single button of the extra row (the button exactly on the middle of the fretwork on the RHS)" (Gary's RH 7c), I would be very interested.

 

Cheers,

 

Adrian

My apologies, Adrian - I missed your earlier post. My 39er is set up with an A4 drone on that single button nearest the right hand.

David

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The owner was adamant that I shouldn't change anything!

I always find that interesting, especially when the suggested change is reversible, meaning there is NO change to the original fabric of the reed-pan, merely a practical solution.

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