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Concertina With Chords?


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#19 Don Taylor

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 05:01 PM

Right hand standard Hayden, left hand Accordion-basses diagonally: third, bass, major chord, minor chord, seventh chord.
That gives only a few complete keys, but first of all it is possible to transpose - and worst case one would habe to come up with a different arrangement...

I do not think that I would want such a beast.

Complete triads and seventh chords on the LHS of a concertina sound muddy and far too loud for my taste. You would probably have to take out the thirds to make them sound OK and then, on a Hayden at least, you might as well just mash the root and the fifth down with one finger anyway. You would also be throwing away any possibility of voicing a chord in different ways.

(Edited to remove an extraneous 'not').

Edited by Don Taylor, 12 January 2017 - 08:52 AM.


#20 BW77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:00 AM

 

Right hand standard Hayden, left hand Accordion-basses diagonally: third, bass, major chord, minor chord, seventh chord.
That gives only a few complete keys, but first of all it is possible to transpose - and worst case one would habe to come up with a different arrangement...


I do not think that I would (not) want such a beast.

Complete triads and seventh chords on the LHS of a concertina sound muddy and far too loud for my taste. You would probably have to take out the thirds to make them sound OK and then, on a Hayden at least, you might as well just mash the root and the fifth down with one finger anyway. You would also be throwing away any possibility of voicing a chord in different ways.

 

I agree, it is very easy even with a trad anglo or duet to overpower RHS melody line with tight chords on the LHS and with a full accordion-like left hand bass this problem will be hard to escape.( unless introducing more reed sets on the RHS as well - for example Bandoneon style) 

Looking at the historic progress for a while we can see that melodeon/accordion LH accompaniment resources have gone from very simple single notes to  one or two combined chords adapted to the basic right hand 1-3 keys, further addiing some minor chords, then introducing the the "Stadella bass" when the right hand side became fully chromatic, and then the "free bass" as performing demands got more advanced. And there we are...

With that background it is hard to see good reasons for "going backwards" with concertinas to coupled bass constructions or Stradella like variants. You are expected to run into unsurmountalble design conflicts as well since you have to consider the very complicated, weight and space demanding, mechanism you need for the purpose. I think it is just Utopian. In the limited individual view however, like the Franglo, it seems to make sense but hardly further than that.

 

To make the left hand side more efficient for chord accompaniment maybe you can look at the keyboard design itself instead?

I wonder if not 1)  tighter spacing between left hand buttons 2) larger buttons  3) less button travel 4) a rather flat button head - in all making the keyboard more like the 5 row button accordion RHS or why not something like our computer keyboards - would facilitate chord playing on the LHS of Anglos or Duets. If so, you may wonder if not similar conditions might make playing on the RHS easier as well...? The results ought to be easier multinote fingering, options to press 2-3-4(?) buttons with the same finger, possibilities to make chord glissandos in the way you very effectively do with button accordions (if you have a Hayden or Wheatstone "Double" like keyboard....) 

Summing up - left hand fixed chord solutions for "concertinas" maybe is a dead end street after all but looking for other keyboard patterns or new design variants maybe is not ? 



#21 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 10:24 AM


John: "The exception proves the rule. Franglo and free-bass accordeon are exceptions to a pretty consistent rule! "

 

But we haven´t found that "rule" yet have we...??  It obviously can not be as simple as ..." a concertina - ... has one note per button"

 

 

OK, here we go!

 

As a rule ...

 

- Concertinas are hand-held or supported on the knee(s). Any attachments are to the player's hands, not his body

 

- Concertinas have a bellows cross-section that is nearly or exactly a regular polygon (English: hexagonal, octagonal, occasionally 12-sided, seldom square; German: approximately square, latterly hexagonal)

 

- Concertinas have a continuous tonal space, usable for either melody or harmony, distributed over both ends (usually with an overlap)

 

- Concertinas, if monosonoric, have one note per button; if bisonoric, one note per button/bellows direction, except for so-called drones (multiple reeds may sound when a button is pressed, but they are tuned in unison or octave, so they are functionally perceived as one note)

 

I could go on, but I think these "rules" are pretty definitive, and allow exceptions to be identified.

 

Note that there are two major categories of Concertina: mono-sonoric and bi-sonoric. Each category has a number of variants. Mono-sonoric concertinas are the EC and the various Duet systems, all sharing the same construction principles.

Bi-sonoric concertinas are the German, Anglo-German, Anglo-Chromatic, Carlsfelder, Chemnitzer, Bandoneon. Some are of German-type construction, some English-style. They share a central pad of 20 buttons arranged in two rows according to the Richter Scale, though the additional buttons are different in each case.

Yet these are all concertinas according to the "rules" above.

 

Accordeons, too, belong to two major categories: chromatic and diatonic. Here, too, button arrangements vary: C-Griff, B-Griff or piano on the descant side; Stradella or various bi-sonoric arrangements in the bass - or free-bass. Even in the latter case, we still clearly have an accordeon variant!

 

BTW, when I embarked last summer on my cruise in a 60-foot steam puffer, sharing a roughly 2 x 2 x 2-metre cabin with another passenger, and after a plane and train journey to get there, I was glad that my musical equipment consisted of a standard-sized, 30-button Anglo concertina!

 

Cheers,

John



#22 BW77

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:34 AM

 


John: "The exception proves the rule. Franglo and free-bass accordeon are exceptions to a pretty consistent rule! "

 

But we haven´t found that "rule" yet have we...??  It obviously can not be as simple as ..." a concertina - ... has one note per button"

 

 

OK, here we go!

 

As a rule ...

 

- Concertinas are hand-held or supported on the knee(s). Any attachments are to the player's hands, not his body

 

- Concertinas have a bellows cross-section that is nearly or exactly a regular polygon (English: hexagonal, octagonal, occasionally 12-sided, seldom square; German: approximately square, latterly hexagonal)

 

- Concertinas have a continuous tonal space, usable for either melody or harmony, distributed over both ends (usually with an overlap)

 

- Concertinas, if monosonoric, have one note per button; if bisonoric, one note per button/bellows direction, except for so-called drones (multiple reeds may sound when a button is pressed, but they are tuned in unison or octave, so they are functionally perceived as one note)

 

I could go on, but I think these "rules" are pretty definitive, and allow exceptions to be identified.

 

Note that there are two major categories of Concertina: mono-sonoric and bi-sonoric. Each category has a number of variants. Mono-sonoric concertinas are the EC and the various Duet systems, all sharing the same construction principles.

Bi-sonoric concertinas are the German, Anglo-German, Anglo-Chromatic, Carlsfelder, Chemnitzer, Bandoneon. Some are of German-type construction, some English-style. They share a central pad of 20 buttons arranged in two rows according to the Richter Scale, though the additional buttons are different in each case.

Yet these are all concertinas according to the "rules" above.

 

Accordeons, too, belong to two major categories: chromatic and diatonic. Here, too, button arrangements vary: C-Griff, B-Griff or piano on the descant side; Stradella or various bi-sonoric arrangements in the bass - or free-bass. Even in the latter case, we still clearly have an accordeon variant!

 

BTW, when I embarked last summer on my cruise in a 60-foot steam puffer, sharing a roughly 2 x 2 x 2-metre cabin with another passenger, and after a plane and train journey to get there, I was glad that my musical equipment consisted of a standard-sized, 30-button Anglo concertina!

 

Cheers,

John

 

Thanks John, very good ! Although I am not sure what we are actually up to let's go on....

 

1. You have listed here a number of *known* or habitually *named* "concertinas" and some "accordeons". This may be seen as an "operational definition" 

2. This however doesn't help much for an adequate discriminating *definition* of the *entity concertina* making us know what any known or imaginary *concertina* IS by that name 

3. IF we search for such a discriminating meaning of the term it better be as specific as possible and as simple as possible

4. Including a lot of possible subclasses in the definition of the head class itself thus is not very fruitful. They come later

5. Wayman suggested "one note per button" but that seems to be too simple and causing obvious confusion among subclasses

6. You say  "Concertinas have a bellows cross-section that is nearly or exactly a regular polygon"

That is not enough either and frankly I don't see the point with it

7. You say  "Concertinas have a continuous tonal space, usable for either melody or harmony, distributed over both ends (usually with an overlap)"

Seemingly so with most of *them* but why?? It obviously excludes the "Franglo" which to my intuition will be accepted as a "concertina" by most concertina people and not unlikely by most accordeon people too...

8. One note per button again. Why really? Again it excludes the Franglo and causes an unsolvable conflict with the free bass thing

9. You say "I could go on, but I think these "rules" are pretty definitive, and allow exceptions to be identified."

NO!!..a really adequate definition does NOT allow exceptions. IF a whole lot of exceptions are already predicted we rather find a better definition ! and like I said as simple ( and unambiguous) as possible

10 What we want I think is

10.1) a definition which includes all known and already by habit called "concertinas"

10.2) a definition which clearly separates "concertinas" from other already known and by habit called " melodeons", "accordeons", etc bellows-driven freereed instruments but here we also got the various harmoniums/organs to consider, and among other free reed instruments in general ( harmonicas,melodicas, sheng,chaen etc ) we also want to have distinctive definitions. 

Like I said before...maybe this is something to recruit some academic music instrument organologist to solve...

I said before..it seems as if no-one really 'knows* what a "concertina" IS or where the name came from...so what are we up to in real....?

 

More suggestions please! 



#23 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:13 AM

Look out!  It's the Difference Between a Concertina and an Accordion discussion again!  Previously discussed at http://www.concertin...?showtopic=4236 and http://www.concertin...?showtopic=8040 and quite possibly elsewhere.  Here's what I wrote in 2006 during the earlier of those two threads:

 

To me the key points in distinguishing concertinas and accordions are:
* concertinas ALWAYS have buttons that travel toward the bellows when pressed and accordions ALWAYS have buttons or keys that travel toward the player
* concertinas ALMOST ALWAYS have left- and right-hand key layouts based on the same principle and accordions ALMOST ALWAYS have left- and right-hand layouts based on different principles
* concertinas USUALLY have only buttons that play one note (though perhaps with multiple reeds in multiple octaves) and accordions USUALLY have buttons on the left-hand side that play chords.

 

 


John: "The exception proves the rule. Franglo and free-bass accordeon are exceptions to a pretty consistent rule! "

 

But we haven´t found that "rule" yet have we...??  It obviously can not be as simple as ..." a concertina - ... has one note per button"

 

 

OK, here we go!

 

As a rule ...

 

- Concertinas are hand-held or supported on the knee(s). Any attachments are to the player's hands, not his body

 

- Concertinas have a bellows cross-section that is nearly or exactly a regular polygon (English: hexagonal, octagonal, occasionally 12-sided, seldom square; German: approximately square, latterly hexagonal)

 

- Concertinas have a continuous tonal space, usable for either melody or harmony, distributed over both ends (usually with an overlap)

 

- Concertinas, if monosonoric, have one note per button; if bisonoric, one note per button/bellows direction, except for so-called drones (multiple reeds may sound when a button is pressed, but they are tuned in unison or octave, so they are functionally perceived as one note)

 

I could go on, but I think these "rules" are pretty definitive, and allow exceptions to be identified.

 

Note that there are two major categories of Concertina: mono-sonoric and bi-sonoric. Each category has a number of variants. Mono-sonoric concertinas are the EC and the various Duet systems, all sharing the same construction principles.

Bi-sonoric concertinas are the German, Anglo-German, Anglo-Chromatic, Carlsfelder, Chemnitzer, Bandoneon. Some are of German-type construction, some English-style. They share a central pad of 20 buttons arranged in two rows according to the Richter Scale, though the additional buttons are different in each case.

Yet these are all concertinas according to the "rules" above.

 

Accordeons, too, belong to two major categories: chromatic and diatonic. Here, too, button arrangements vary: C-Griff, B-Griff or piano on the descant side; Stradella or various bi-sonoric arrangements in the bass - or free-bass. Even in the latter case, we still clearly have an accordeon variant!

 

BTW, when I embarked last summer on my cruise in a 60-foot steam puffer, sharing a roughly 2 x 2 x 2-metre cabin with another passenger, and after a plane and train journey to get there, I was glad that my musical equipment consisted of a standard-sized, 30-button Anglo concertina!

 

Cheers,

John

 



#24 BW77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:48 AM

 

Look out!  It's the Difference Between a Concertina and an Accordion discussion again!  Previously discussed at http://www.concertin...?showtopic=4236 and http://www.concertin...?showtopic=8040 and quite possibly elsewhere.  Here's what I wrote in 2006 during the earlier of those two threads:

 

To me the key points in distinguishing concertinas and accordions are:
1. * concertinas ALWAYS have buttons that travel toward the bellows when pressed and accordions ALWAYS have buttons or keys that travel toward the player
2. * concertinas ALMOST ALWAYS have left- and right-hand key layouts based on the same principle and accordions ALMOST ALWAYS have left- and right-hand layouts based on different principles
3. * concertinas USUALLY have only buttons that play one note (though perhaps with multiple reeds in multiple octaves) and accordions USUALLY have buttons on the left-hand side that play chords.

 

 


 

Daniel! Like John  you refer to what You relate to as "concertinas" or "accordions" and you do produce an operational description according to your knowlegde BUT to come up with a really good *definition* this must also work for what you don't "know" right now i e also for novelties of various kinds more or less imaginary. You better find a general and simple rule that covers these main classes - Accordeons and Concertinas - as we know them  but also their possible off-spring just like we have mentioned the "Franglo" above !

 

I have added points 1. 2. 3. to your reply above

1. The button issue is VERY complex and causes conflicts regarding hundreds of sub-classes. Somewhat dubious see add.1

2. "Almost".....is never a good *definition* . A lot of possible exceptions confirms the insufficiency of many "definitions". Skip it !!

3. " Usually" ..better be dismissed for the same reason. Skip it !!

 

add 1. Since you say "ALWAYS" here this might be a possible definition as it is, according to "what is known" presently, but it is not difficult at all making several hypothetical "hybrids" that cause trouble... but put it up as a half way suggestion. The weakness with it is that it is related/depending on the various mechanical practical solutions for keyboard arrangements. There are good reasons speaking for that an angled "endplate" of "concertinas" slanting the keyboard region to be something between the "concertina concept" and the "accordeon concept" might improve ergonomic conditions so it would not be surprising if some inventor comes up with something like that and then we will get the same dilemma as with the Franglo ( which I think we likely see as a "concertina" for various reasons...)

 

Think again ! Try to find only one single principle you can use to discriminate between ALL "bellows activated free reed instruments"

When you have done that !... try to find another one as well... and try them against each other...

See you!



#25 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:13 AM

 

Like I said before...maybe this is something to recruit some academic music instrument organologist to solve...

I said before..it seems as if no-one really 'knows* what a "concertina" IS or where the name came from...so what are we up to in real....?

 

More suggestions please! 

 

My dear BW77,

With all due respect, it seems to me that the only person here who doesn't know what a concertina is - is yourself!

 

And don't look to the organologists for simplification! I've read quite a bit of their literature, starting with Curd Sachs, and they talk about instruments like zoologists talk about animals - starting with broad categories and working down from sub-category to sub-sub-category on the basis of features that the layman just does not perceive unaided. Like any science, organology requires a combination of sharpness and flexibility of thought, and the ability to think abstractly.

 

Try it!

 

Cheers,

John

 

PS. Shakespeare: "Romeo! Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet."

      Goethe: "Name ist Schall und Rauch." (Names are noise and smoke.)

      trad.: "Don't give a dog a bad name."



#26 BW77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:30 PM

 

 

Like I said before...maybe this is something to recruit some academic music instrument organologist to solve...

I said before..it seems as if no-one really 'knows* what a "concertina" IS or where the name came from...so what are we up to in real....?

 

More suggestions please! 

 

My dear BW77,

With all due respect, it seems to me that the only person here who doesn't know what a concertina is - is yourself!

 

And don't look to the organologists for simplification! I've read quite a bit of their literature, starting with Curd Sachs, and they talk about instruments like zoologists talk about animals - starting with broad categories and working down from sub-category to sub-sub-category on the basis of features that the layman just does not perceive unaided. Like any science, organology requires a combination of sharpness and flexibility of thought, and the ability to think abstractly.

 

Try it!

 

Cheers,

John

 

PS. Shakespeare: "Romeo! Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet."

      Goethe: "Name ist Schall und Rauch." (Names are noise and smoke.)

      trad.: "Don't give a dog a bad name."

 

Dear John,

You say : "think abstractly"  "Try it"!

I assure you with my limited resources I AM trying and the first result was in #9. I willingly admit I still don't know what a "concertina" is but can we expect that any single one of us here does ? I haven't got that impression and are we not trying together to find out? Otherwise we better leave it to the witty scientific organologists after all...

 

I propose these alternative and/or combined discrimination criteria for bellowsdriven free reed instruments 

 

1. How the instruments are   carried/supported/stabilzed

1.1 Organs/ Harmoniums      supported by no active assistance from the player ( resting on the ground, a table, a stand, the knees )

1.2 Accordeons                     supported  by one arm/hand

1.3 Concertinas                     supported by both arms/hands

 

2. How pumping the bellows is managed

2.1 Organs/ Harmoniums     by the feet, by another person than the player, by one arm IF simultaneously 1.1 ( Indian harmonium) or by some external mechanical device ( electric pump etc )

2.2 Accordeons                    by one arm 

2.3 Concertinas                    by both arms ( the construction itself offers means to use either arm or both arms on same conditions)

 

3. How the basic  construction affects musical performance

3.1 Organs/Harmoniums      a flying hand can be used all over the keyboard(s) . The feet may be active in music performance

3.2 Accordeons                    one flying hand can be used on one specific side

3.3 Concertinas                    no flying hand can be used, both arms/hands are engaged in supporting and stabilizing the instrument

 

4.   Asymmetry/ Symmetry 

4.1  Accordeons                   asymmetrical construction, intended to be worked differently by left/right arm/hand

4.2  Concertinas                   symmetrical construction, intended to be worked likewise with both arms/hands or with either arm/hand

                                             

 

One factor only seems not to be sufficient. By combining two maybe a simple enough "rule" can be formulated...?

Some abstract thinker around? And again...any idea where the name actually came from?            



#27 MartinW

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:33 PM

Any definition seems to have exceptions. A Schwyzerorgli, has bass buttons that travel towards the bellows and treble buttons that travel towards the player so where would the button direction rule put that? I think few here wouldn't recognize them as accordions.

Many players of single row meloeons or Cajun accordions support the instrument with both hands and no shoulder straps, using a thumb strap on the right hand side so have no flying hand.

To add to the confusion, I understand that in Portugal the term 'concertina' is generally used to refer to a button accordion, so any rule won't apply there.

I'll just settle for calling things concertinas if I think that's what they are.

Martin

Edited by MartinW, 13 January 2017 - 12:45 PM.


#28 BW77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 01:56 PM

1. Any definition seems to have exceptions. A Schwyzerorgli, has bass buttons that travel towards the bellows and treble buttons that travel towards the player so where would the button direction rule put that? I think few here wouldn't recognize them as accordions.

2. Many players of single row meloeons or Cajun accordions support the instrument with both hands and no shoulder straps, using a thumb strap on the right hand side so have no flying hand.

3. To add to the confusion, I understand that in Portugal the term 'concertina' is generally used to refer to a button accordion, so any rule won't apply there.

I'll just settle for calling things concertinas if I think that's what they are.

Martin

Martin, many good points, some comments:

1. As I said  before, the* button direction* rule  opens up for confusion but I believe all my 1,2,3,4 in #26 makes it an accordeon

2. My point 4. would make it an accordion/melodeon still I guess and we can't help that the athletic Cajun players insist using their instruments in a way their maker never imagined they would....

3. Neither can we help if the Portuguese seemingly have misunderstood it all...or maybe they are the only ones who really know how it is? Some Portuguese here?



#29 Theo

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:09 PM

2. My point 4. would make it an accordion/melodeon still I guess and we can't help that the athletic Cajun players insist using their instruments in a way their maker never imagined they would....


On the contrary that is exactly how the makers expected them to be played!  Even two row diatonics from Hohner were supplied with only a thumbstrap on the right hand side for most of the 20th century.  Most one row diatonic accordions are still made that way.



#30 BW77

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 06:44 PM

 

2. My point 4. would make it an accordion/melodeon still I guess and we can't help that the athletic Cajun players insist using their instruments in a way their maker never imagined they would....


On the contrary that is exactly how the makers expected them to be played!  Even two row diatonics from Hohner were supplied with only a thumbstrap on the right hand side for most of the 20th century.  Most one row diatonic accordions are still made that way.

 

Hardly Theo...I have diatonics myself and the sleeve on the left side definitely is not intended for waving the instrument in the air and the great majority of melodeon players rest the left side on the knee ( unless they use the single shoulder strap method) 

I have hardlly seen any category of melodeon players except the Zydeco/Cajon idiom practitioners have the left side hanging in the air. All the same they hardly work the bellows symmetrically either, and most important, the instrument box is NOT built symmetrically. Flying hand...well you're right, with the thumbstrap there is not much of a flight going on but you CAN arrange that - just hang the box up on shoulder straps as you do with larger accordions. ( I usually do so with mine) But hang any established "concertina" up in shoulder straps and try to manipulate it with a "flying hand" and I believe you pretty soon give that up ...or?

 

Another trial then:

Concertina = a symmetrically constructed squeezebox meant for holding both sides in the same manner and doing the bellows work with both arms or with either arm under the same conditions.

Can that possibly do? Can be better formulated maybe but the idea seems to work. Shall we forward the question to the accordeon folks and hear what they say? Definition of an accordeon? Is the free bass thing a concertina?






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