There are vintage and new concertinas that drop the top 4 notes on the treble,...
[and Joe's subsequent clarification: ] From a 48 treble. Left side- remove the top row, c'#, g', b', and b'b... Right side-remove the top cluster, c'', a', f', and f'#...
First of all, you're going to have difficulty getting what you want if you don't describe it accurately. Aside from the typo -- your c'#
should be g'#
, -- your more detailed description indicates dropping not "the top 4
notes", but 8
notes, 4 from each side.
By the way, I'm curious as to where you've seen "vintage" treble
concertinas that don't have those top 8 buttons. 48-button tenor-trebles (sometimes called simply "tenors") don't have them, but they have the same number of buttons added below. Vintage trebles with fewer than 48 buttons tend to be custom instruments, very
rare, and go for premium prices.
I don't have a 'tenor'. Wish I did, and would except for the price jump , vintage rarity, size and weight increase.
But if you can't afford such a vintage instrument, what makes you think you could afford a custom-built contemporary one?
And if you're just imagining a theoretical instrument that you think you
would like, do you really think that having a lowest note of Eb, rather than the C below it, is of great importance? What music do you play where a low E is more useful than a low D? Do you believe that a significant number of other concertina players would favor your proposed variant over what is already available?
I, for one, don't agree with the arguments you give for your design choice:
Benefit, remove keys seldom if never used from the top end.
I don't consider that a benefit. "Seldom" is not
"never". While I don't use those notes often, I do use them now and again, which I couldn't do if they weren't there. And they in no way interfere with my playing when I'm not using them. I'm glad they're there.
you then have 3 lines above the stave rather than 5...
A pointless goal for anyone who doesn't read music, and an irrelevant one for anyone who does, but whose music doesn't use those "extra" notes.
...and 3 lines below the stave rather than 2
In light of your wish to reduce the number of lines above the staff, I don't know whether you're suggesting that adding one below is an advantage or a disadvantage.
The music would be easier to read,...
How so? Any notes which aren't in the music won't appear in the notation of that music. Those that are, will.
...the confusing bass clef stave would be discarded.
What "confusing bass clef"? Who writes concertina music in the bass clef?
To me, going down toinclude low D'' and C'', is beyond the capacity of a standard treble but you could squeeze in F and E.
By definition, a "standard" treble doesn't go down to E, but only to G. In addition, it does
have those upper notes. What you're suggesting is not
"standard". But when you mention "squeezing in" a few extra notes, it sounds as if you think that there is no space for more than 48 buttons on a concertina of "standard treble" size. This is not true, as "piccolo" instruments have 48 buttons on much smaller ends. Even full treble instruments with "piccolo"-size ends have been produced, so there's enough room for all the reeds, as well.
The balance of the english is fine. It's when you add a neck strap, the balance point changes.
Since I don't find a neckstrap useful, that doesn't matter to me. But if you do add one, the resulting forces and torques must depend considerably on where and how you attach it. It's hard to follow your argument if you don't define the points of attachment you're referring to.
I have what I consider small hands, with farmer fingers.
"Farmer fingers"? Explain, please?
When anyone IMO plays the bottom row it envoles slipping from the pinky stop, hunt and search, and getting disorientated.
Not when I
"play the bottom row", or any of the buttons on a standard 48-, 56-, or 64-button concertina, and I'm certainly one of "anyone". It sounds to me as if you
just haven't developed the requisite flexibility and competence, and possibly that what you're doing to try to reach those buttons is counterproductive. To reach the lower buttons, I bend my hands backward at the writsts and bend my fingers to draw them back over the buttons, where I can then press downward with my fingertips. No problem.
In my session book most of the music is centered slightly above the treble stave. Many tunes start on D and range to a, in sharp keys for the benefit of the fidlers.
Your "session book" sounds rather limited to me, and more likely to have been limited for the benefit of whistle players than fiddlers. Fiddlers like the key of A, but many whistle players don't, because playing G# requires covering half a hole, rather than a simple fingering. And fiddlers don't mind going lower than D, with the G below being their lowest note. Whistle players prefer tunes with one or two sharps (G and D, and their related modes), and no notes below D, because they can't play them (at least not without jumping octaves). There are also many fiddle tunes in such keys as C, Am, F, Dm, Bb, and Gm, because those particular tunes in those particular keys are comfortable on the fiddle.
Moving the button pattern up on the treble would help the english player reach speed.
This seems to assume that on a "standard" treble "the English player" has difficulty reaching speed. I think you're deceiving yourself. I haven't met any competent players of the English who have difficulty playing tunes "up to speed" on a responsive instrument. It further suggests that shifting the keyboard as you suggest would have the effect of increasing their speed. I don't believe that's so, and I doubt that you can provide any evidence that it is, even in your own case. Do you really find that in general you cannot play tunes that go down to D as quickly as those that don't go below G?
All in all, I think you need to consider more carefully all the ramifications of your suggestions before prescribing them as an ideal. I'm not convinced that the instrument you suggest would satisfy even you, much less the rest of us.