Since a recent thread on right hand chords drifted into the territory of button numbering for large Anglos, it really deserves its own separate post...
As you all know, there are a host of different numbering schemes for Anglo buttons, some make more sense than others, and many have loyal adherents, but to my knowledge there's never been a consistent system that addresses the larger 30+ button instruments.
So I've been talking with Adrian Brown and Jody Kruskal and we've come up with the following scenario:
It starts with the basic 20-button core numbered 1-10 on each side, and then utilizes a combination of numbers and letters to notate the outlying buttons that are accidentals and extras.
It's fairly common to number the top rows of accidentals 1a-5a on each side, but for larger Anglos the extra buttons all over the place are more problematical, especially since Jeffries and Wheatstone arrange them completely differently.
So here's the basic idea (see attachment):
Number the extra buttons above the 20-button core with an extra "a".
Number the extra buttons to the side of the 20-button core with an extra "b".
Number the extra buttons below the 20-button core with an extra "c".
And number the three extra Wheatstone buttons on the diagonal with an extra "d".
"a" = above
"b" = side
"c" = below
"d" = diagonal
And then just "Th" for the left hand thumb button since it's in a class all its own.
45-button Jeffries Anglos have additional buttons only on the bottom row, so this system should work for them as well.
And the best part? It totally avoids the crazy stuff like you see on the Chemnitzer concertina keyboard (0/0, 1/0, 2/3, *, -, +, etc.). It uses simple numbers and letters that are readily available on any computer keyboard that are easy to use and remember.
I know, I know, it's best to learn the actual music notes and read musical notation, but some of us prefer the initial crutch of button numbering and tablature to get started and to help remember how to play certain tunes!
Looking forward to the discussion and the brickbats!