If I was able to purchase this, I'd check to see if the Dsharp3 reed tongue has been soldered-up down to a Bflat2; and if not, I'd have it done. I think that this might have been a common thing in the past, but that's for the concertina history forum I suppose...!
Common?I may have encountered the idea once before, but not more than that. It would be similar, though, to replacing the low G# on a treble with F, the only alteration to the standard layout that I've seen in more than one example (not counting different ranges or transposing instruments).
But I wonder why Bb, yet not B, A, or G? Well, I agree that extending this particular discussion should probably be done elsewhere and in its own thread, so I'll try starting a new topic after I get back from feeding the sheep (for my friend, who is away)... if you or someone else doesn't beat me to it.
I believe my granddad got this done by Wheatstone when "changing to New Philharmonic pitch". He didn't explain why. It may have been a manufacturer's recommendation. I also think Simon Thoumire has inherited the same as per an article on Concertina.
My current thoughts as to why this might have occurred, given the questions 'why skip a B, or why not opt for an A or lower?' are:
1) Bagpipe drone;
2) An outer row would be best not to have a naturalised key in line with the EC layout in particular, n/a on other layouts, to reduce the level of being out of kilter;
3) A Bb facilitates several popular key signatures (Eb,Bb,F,Ab) that also happen to be popular EC keys too given reduced middle row work, which in my opinion is a bigger advantage than having a duplicate Eb[D#];
4) limitations on the level of solder?
Any more thoughts or any knowledge on the history of this modification in respect of the EC layout in particular?
Edited by kevin toner, 15 May 2012 - 08:34 AM.