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Who Defined The Top Row?

Anglo accidentals history

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#1 Anglo-Irishman


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Posted 14 April 2017 - 02:03 PM

Dear Concertina Historians,


We talk all the time about Anglos with Wheatstone or Jeffries layout to distinguish between two slight variations in the right-hand outer row.


But who actually "invented" the whole outer row? Was it Mr. Wheatstone or Mr. Jeffries - or was it someone else?

And was the outer row of a 30-button Anglo always the way it is now, apart from the Wheatstone/Jeffries variations?


The history books tell us that it was George Jones who first applied the German 20-button bisonoric Richter layout to the English-bult concertina, thus inventing the Anglo-German concertina, and that this instrument became the Anglo-Chromatic through the addition of a third row of buttons, which we sometimes call the "accidentals row" because one of its functions is to provide sharps and flats other than the Anglo-German's F# (i.e. notes that are accidental to the home keys of C and G).


But who was it who thought out this ingenious combination of accidentals and reversed naturals that add so much to the capabilities of the modern, 30-button Anglo?


Enquiring minds would like to know, and I reckon Cnet is the best place to ask! :)




#2 Mikefule


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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

I don't know the answer, but I would guess:


1) Early models had less than a full top row.  There are still some Anglos about wth are than 20 buttons but fewer than 30.


2) The idea of a top row preceded the "conventional layout of the top row" by some time.


3) With each manufacturer's range, the layout of top row would have been a selling point - but in reality, the differences were like Coke and Pepsi: some people have a preference, but for most, either will do until they develop an habitual preference.


4)  Probably, the conventional layout of the top row has altered as musical fashions have changed.  For example, the popularity of jazz would have introduced the need for new patterns of notes and chords, compared to earlier folk or music hall tunes.

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